Thursday, June 21, 2012


This photo is dark, but this cathedral leaves much to be desired and surely needs some help:

This is an artist rendering of the proposed renovation of the same cathedral, with new supports for the "dome" so that the space around the sanctuary is not constricted by the original pillars that held up the dome, very cleverly done. However the look of the older dome over the altar is more appealing to me than the modern redesign of the dome itself--the first looks a bit more "timeless" and the new more trendy. I like the new look and the emphasis is on the the altar, ambo, cathedra, baptismal font and tabernacle and the tabernacle is well designed and promotes Eucharistic devotion.

My comments:
It's hard to tell from a rendering what it will actually look like when completed, although this is a very nice computer generated rendering. I would like to see the bishop's cathedra to be a bit more cathedra looking and a good place for the chair of the lowly priest who is celebrating Mass in this facility.

I would also recommend making the altar longer so that beautiful candlesticks can be placed on the altar itself and in the "Benedictine style." However, with the crucifix hanging above the altar, there would be no need for an additional one on the altar.
I think we should move away from floor candlesticks but make sure the altar is long enough so that candlesticks on the altar don't clutter it.

I think the altar itself should be up at least one step more, or better two steps more, or best three steps more to allow for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to be celebrated on it and to allow for Ordinary Form Ad Orientem Masses.

I think places for those who desire to kneel to receive Holy Communion should be built in and an altar railing isn't out of the question similar to what is in the original church above.

But maybe it would have been better not to waste money on this particular building and just build a new cathedral like Raleigh, North Carolina. They know what they are doing up there!


Templar said...

While the existing structure is hardly classic beauty, it is far nicer than the proposed renovation. These people should consider themselves lucky if the place burned to the ground instead of being renovated in that fashion.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I kind of agree, Templar, why waste so much money on a pig's ear? I don't know how to spell sau!
They should do what Raleigh is building and I mean wow to Raleigh.

ytc said...

The renovation is hideous. I hate, hate, hate these aesthetic botch-jobs where some clueless local architect tries to take two or three trad motifs and slap it on and then tries to make it pass for good architecture.

Good God man this is horrid! They are ripping out the altar rail! The current look is fine.

Templar said...

Kudos to the Diocese of Raleigh!!

I believe the word you were looking for is sow. I have these moments too, LOL

Carol H. said...

To even consider spending money on this wreckovation is foolish.

Instead, hire an artist to paint the heavenly host on the dome. Rescue a couple of side alters from closed parishes to replace the lonely paintings on those walls. Replace the clear glass windows with stained glass. Replace the lighting fixtures with something that gives better light.

I'll bet I just renovated the place with less than half of their proposed working budget.

Robert Kumpel said...

Has no one noticed that the older photo has a Communion rail and the new rendering does not?
Looks to me like another diocese trying to deny that tradition has any future in the Church.

Join me with the folks who would opt for a new building--neither the old look or the proposed renovation have much visual appeal in this particular building.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

The new renovation is awful. Looks like some First Baptist Church somewhere.

qwikness said...

I hate those levitating crucifixes. I like Salvador Dali's however.

Bill Meyer said...

The proposed renovation provokes from me the comments I most often make about new designs: stark, sterile, and cold.

ghp95134 said...

So, now that they will have their own Globe Theatre, will they be showing the plays of Shakespeare?

Horrible! I much prefer the current church; the latter gives more a feeling of a theatre or orchestra hall.


rcg said...

Old photo is sort of Greek revival or maybe Great Schism, which is ironic. The new one is more rupture. Maybe they couldn't afford the Crystal Cathedral and wanted their own protestant inspired edifice. Maybe they can have the picture of the Bishop done on velvet.

R. León said...

Good grief. Someone. Quick, send the Diocese a link to the New Liturgical Movement blog. They should be able to find some people to help renovate the right way.

ytc said...

What diocese is this anyway? Is it in Latvia or Khazakstan something? I hope so.

Henry said...

Is it just me to wonder how these pictures might correlate with the fact that the bishop of this diocese is on the public record in a financial settlement case for which he himself was the alleged abuser, and at one time discouraged Eucharistic adoration in the diocese?

Supertradmum said...

I could hardly bring myself to write on this, the church is so ugly. Why not work on something worthwhile. There has to be a neo-Gothic around, no?????

Where do these architects get their training? Look Protestant, sorry.

Gregorian Mass said...

I don't like the new Sanctuary at all. Perhaps better lighting would have done wonders for the former space. The new one looks entirely too "mall" as some other post stated. Even an airport feeling. The previous set up may have been a bit cramped, but did it really matter? To spend a small fortune to redo something that is already fine is simply a waste. Less money could be spent while retaining the elements and charactor of what they have. I personally find the columns pleasing. For the folks who say that you can't see. Well it is not a concert, you will go to Mass more than once and the next week you will most likely find yourself sitting in another pew and will be able to see what you think you missed the week before.