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Co-Cathedral Of The Sacred Heart Church At 1111 St. Joseph Pkwy.


Montrose1100

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Well, what would you call it? You are, after all, the one who is saying you have higher standards than the Archibishop. That's the same thing as saying his standards are not as worthy as yours, and it's loaded with the implication that you think those who don't share your enlightened views aren't as intelligent as you. I call that elitist snobbery.

In my OPINION I do have higher standards than the bishop so in my OPINION his standards don't stack up to mine. Does that simple it up enough for you?

And yes, i am a bit bitter that i was not consulted on the matter. :lol:

:lol: ME TOO!!!! :lol:

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Having heard about the "exciting and wonderous" design of the new LA cathedral, I, too, was a little disappointed the Houston archdiocese didn't go for something a little more excting. But now having seen these pictures of the LA Cathedral, I'm thankful they went with the updated traditional look. The Houston design looks far more enduring and beautiful. 20-50 years from now, Houston will be happy to have a beautiful cathedral with a time-honored and enduring design. LA will still have an ugly (in my opinion) cathedral that will be instantly identifiable as having been built in the first decade of the 21st century. (Think about all of the lovely and innovative 1970s architecture littering the landscape) ;-)

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Having heard about the "exciting and wonderous" design of the new LA cathedral, I, too, was a little disappointed the Houston archdiocese didn't go for something a little more excting. But now having seen these pictures of the LA Cathedral, I'm thankful they went with the updated traditional look. The Houston design looks far more enduring and beautiful. 20-50 years from now, Houston will be happy to have a beautiful cathedral with a time-honored and enduring design. LA will still have an ugly (in my opinion) cathedral that will be instantly identifiable as having been built in the first decade of the 21st century. (Think about all of the lovely and innovative 1970s architecture littering the landscape) ;-)

i agree in part- i am not too jazzed about the outside of the LA cathedral- as i indicated in an earlier post, i think the inside redeems a bit of the outside.

20-50 years from now............ OK, but isn't that one of the purposes of architecture? to define not only a culture, but also an era? sort of paradoxical, but can't a structure represent a time period- but also be "timeless". think of Gothic cathedrals- they represent a time period, but seem timeless. think of the Chrystler building- again, indicative of the age, but standing the test of time. i do understand that having too many structures which are faddish creates a hodge-podge without symmetry and cohesiveness- i just think this cathedral is so droll, that it will not stand out- but become lost.

m.

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i agree in part- i am not too jazzed about the outside of the LA cathedral- as i indicated in an earlier post, i think the inside redeems a bit of the outside.

20-50 years from now............ OK, but isn't that one of the purposes of architecture? to define not only a culture, but also an era? sort of paradoxical, but can't a structure represent a time period- but also be "timeless". think of Gothic cathedrals- they represent a time period, but seem timeless. think of the Chrystler building- again, indicative of the age, but standing the test of time. m.

Perhaps the inside of the Houston cathedral will yet redeem it in your eyes as well...

I absolutely agree that a structure can both represent a time peeriod and seem timeless. But they can just easily fail at both.

I just think a number of posters in this thread (and elsewhere on this board, for that matter) are unduly harsh.

Now, the new fire station... THAT is an example of settling for the mundane, and is truly disappointing.

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21st Century churches are a joke! I like my churches 14th century.
I can probably bet a substantial amount of money on the fact that decades or generations from now- this particular structure will not be showcased as a trendsetting movement.

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and, obviously, opinions will vary. In this forum alone, some people have complained that the building is too modern and some have compalined that it is not modern enough. Without adding to the varying opinions, I will quote a studio teacher from school, who very likely got this from Philip Johnson: "Great architecture comes from great architects working with great clients." I will not get into the debate of whether this design constitutes great architecture, that debate should happen five or ten years from now, but I will say that the client's wishes and opinions should not be ignored, nor should be those of the community. And to that, I will add this picture, which shows a couple of satisfied clients, and will remind every one that during the design phase the architects and the Diocese were very involved with the Houston catholic community and with the Downtown community.

I don't know how to post a picture, look at the second image at this site: http://www.zieglercooper.com/cathedral_building.htm

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Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and, obviously, opinions will vary. In this forum alone, some people have complained that the building is too modern and some have compalined that it is not modern enough. Without adding to the varying opinions, I will quote a studio teacher from school, who very likely got this from Philip Johnson: "Great architecture comes from great architects working with great clients." I will not get into the debate of whether this design constitutes great architecture, that debate should happen five or ten years from now, but I will say that the client's wishes and opinions should not be ignored, nor should be those of the community. And to that, I will add this picture, which shows a couple of satisfied clients, and will remind every one that during the design phase the architects and the Diocese were very involved with the Houston catholic community and with the Downtown community.

I don't know how to post a picture, look at the second image at this site: http://www.zieglercooper.com/cathedral_building.htm

You know- i guess i never really thought of that. i am glad the catholic community had some say in it. i am also glad it got the official nod from the Pope. time will tell, yes.

Here is my biggest concern. We all are aware of the plans the Houston 2025 Vision Team has for DT in the next few years. My concern is that this cathedral will get lost- not stand as a beacon.

m. :mellow:

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You know- i guess i never really thought of that. i am glad the catholic community had some say in it. i am also glad it got the official nod from the Pope. time will tell, yes.

Here is my biggest concern. We all are aware of the plans the Houston 2025 Vision Team has for DT in the next few years. My concern is that this cathedral will get lost- not stand as a beacon.

m. :mellow:

I know what you mean, and I sure do hope that the vision becomes reality.

However the Diocese, and especially Bishop Fiorenza never wanted the building to stand out as a beacon (although I bet the architects would've loved that). His primary goal was to build a Cathedral of the apropriate size to hold the major events held there, and simbolically, he wanted the Cathedral to stand in the middle of the secular center of the city as a reminder of the importance of the religious life coexisting with the secular world. He specifically didn't want to Cathedral to be a grand, ostentatious building. A perfect example is that he specifically asked the architects not to do a tall dome, and most importantly, not to do a gold leafed dome. When Mr. Ziegler suggested to do a gold color painted dome (assuming the issue was cost), the Bishop said he didn't want to even give the illusion of a gold dome.

Yes, a Meier designed cathedral (or pick your favorite star architect) would've been a wonderful addition to Downtown, but that is not what the Bishop had in mind.

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^^^ Well, then that definately makes sense as to its toned-down low key look. Understated, yet sends a message. i like that. Maybe in its understatement, THAT becomes the "beacon".

Regardless, i will be visiting the cathedral, taking pix. inside and out no matter how much i may delicate flower about it. And i would like to attend a service or two to see all the nooks and crannies.

Does anyone happen to know the general layout of the inside? What i mean is, several cathedrals i have visited are built in a way that us modern day tourists can quietly and reverantly mill around inside without disturbing the congregants or service. Is this cathedral going to be built to allow that?

m.

:)

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You know- i guess i never really thought of that. i am glad the catholic community had some say in it. i am also glad it got the official nod from the Pope. time will tell, yes.

339hq44.jpg

Just wondering if the Pope's blessing become a sort of holy rubber stamp though. Or, maybe they figured a more "modern" design would get a thumbs (or palm) down from the Pope.

It seems the footprint is very crucifix-like, with the sanctuary at the top. I wonder if that was by design? If so, then I think that was a nice touch.

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339hq44.jpg

Just wondering if the Pope's blessing become a sort of holy rubber stamp though. Or, maybe they figured a more "modern" design would get a thumbs (or palm) down from the Pope.

It seems the footprint is very crucifix-like, with the sanctuary at the top. I wonder if that was by design? If so, then I think that was a nice touch.

Several cathedrals use this type of floorplan. Yes, it is intentional to represent a cross shape. Some very elaborate ones actually use a more Celtic cross type design as well. :)

Thanks very much. Very helpful. Now i am even more intrigued. B)

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...simbolically, he wanted the Cathedral to stand in the middle of the secular center of the city as a reminder of the importance of the religious life coexisting with the secular world.

Here is the exact quote:

"This glorious cathedral will stand as a powerful symbol of the transcendence of God, and as an affirmation of the existence and importance of faith in a secular and disbelieving world. The Cathedral will serve as a soul and conscience of the city, reminding us of the importance of the spiritual amind the bustle of the commercial and corporate worlds - of the fact that God exists and faith matters."

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I know what you mean, and I sure do hope that the vision becomes reality.

However the Diocese, and especially Bishop Fiorenza never wanted the building to stand out as a beacon (although I bet the architects would've loved that). His primary goal was to build a Cathedral of the apropriate size to hold the major events held there, and simbolically, he wanted the Cathedral to stand in the middle of the secular center of the city as a reminder of the importance of the religious life coexisting with the secular world. He specifically didn't want to Cathedral to be a grand, ostentatious building. A perfect example is that he specifically asked the architects not to do a tall dome, and most importantly, not to do a gold leafed dome. When Mr. Ziegler suggested to do a gold color painted dome (assuming the issue was cost), the Bishop said he didn't want to even give the illusion of a gold dome.

Yes, a Meier designed cathedral (or pick your favorite star architect) would've been a wonderful addition to Downtown, but that is not what the Bishop had in mind.

Well, if they wanted a building that would not stand out as a beacon, they certainly got their wish. So it is intentionally mundane. Go figure. The logic here, such as it were, totally escapes me. Weren't cathedrals traditionally viewed as holy places that were meant to stand apart (spirtually, not physically) from the secular city? Beautiful decoration can be viewed as honoring god and the religious ideal, not mere ostentation. I'm not just arguing here for decoration, but it seems that the whole conception behind the building is intellectually pinched. It's all about blending in, coexisting with the secular, and being as inoffensive as possible, but it has nothing to say about faith, spirituality, or what makes religion special to some people.

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Well, if they wanted a building that would not stand out as a beacon, they certainly got their wish. So it is intentionally mundane. Go figure. The logic here, such as it were, totally escapes me. Weren't cathedrals traditionally viewed as holy places that were meant to stand apart (spirtually, not physically) from the secular city? Beautiful decoration can be viewed as honoring god and the religious ideal, not mere ostentation. I'm not just arguing here for decoration, but it seems that the whole conception behind the building is intellectually pinched. It's all about blending in, coexisting with the secular, and being as inoffensive as possible, but it has nothing to say about faith, spirituality, or what makes religion special to some people.

The thing is that the church really isn't able to win either way. They could build a huge ornate structure, but people would blast it for the waste of money. They could build something modern and modest and they're blasted for being too conservative and not daring enough.

As it's been discussed hear over the years is that we don't appreciate the buildings immediately after they're built. It takes awhile before it's beauty and design is taken into account. The negative comments of Gothic Catherderals in the middle ages are a good example of this.

I never thought about the "low key" approach that the church decided with this catherdral, but I can understand perhaps they wanted something that would not stick out and clash with the skyline as it currently is or simply have it blend in. Again a subtle reminder: The religion is always in the background in what we do and where we go.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I like your new cathedral, the design is clean and comforting - not jarring, like some others. As far as the architecture being too sedated to be featured in magazines, Sacred Heart is not built to glorify Houston, if you know what I mean.

When we built our church several years ago, the modern design was made simple in response to a papal edict. If I recall right, the pope wanted new churches to be free of ornamentation and ostentatious displays of wealth. When built, St Joseph's had no statues, stained-glass, or even a crucifix - it hardly looked Catholic. I suspect Sacred Heart is built with a similar mindset; keep it simple, even for a cathedral. Anyway, enjoy your new addition to the fabric of Houston.

Dallas

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  • 4 weeks later...
That they where planning to build? It was big, had a round end, semi-green ish, and it had a bell tower, that was really tall. Anyone remember?

I know this is an old thread but just wanted to add that the orginal was to have cost too much to renovate in the millions. They figured since the area has had such resurgence in population may as well build a new/bigger/better one. By now you know of the website as many have tagged on. I can't wait for the opening.

I used to attend the old one back in the mid-60s as a kid, my dad played guitar there during Christmas season. Time took it's toll so its just the way things go. I just hope they salvage everything from the original. I personally dig that great gothic revival furnture/items. I recreate these type of items from wood and my interest just grows! I noticed they have already placed the beautiful gold crucifixe on top already. Cool!

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I agree, it looks very 2000's. Is that a bad thing for a church being built in .... 2006? I still can't understand Houston's obsession (and most of the US for that matter) of wanting churches to be built in some sort of neo-whatever style. If anything, this Cathedral is not modern enough! What would the gothic cathedrals be like if they had been built to mimic previous styles?

i never mentioned anything about wanting a particular style - i was just referring to my opinion that many structures built this decade generally end up a downer

339hq44.jpg

Just wondering if the Pope's blessing become a sort of holy rubber stamp though. Or, maybe they figured a more "modern" design would get a thumbs (or palm) down from the Pope.

he looks to be gesturing a "no...nooo thanks!"

I know this is an old thread but just wanted to add that the orginal was to have cost too much to renovate in the millions. They figured since the area has had such resurgence in population may as well build a new/bigger/better one.

just out of curiosity - does anyone know a roundabout figure for a renovation of the older church? and what are the costs of the new one?

Edited by sevfiv
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  • 1 month later...

This will not be a co-cathedral. Look for Galveston's St. Mary's Cathedral to be de-certified when this building is completed and this new Sacred Heart (If that's what it's finally named) to be the only cathedral for the diocese. Look also for a name change in the diocese, with "Galveston" being scrubbed from the title. :(

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This will not be a co-cathedral. Look for Galveston's St. Mary's Cathedral to be de-certified when this building is completed and this new Sacred Heart (If that's what it's finally named) to be the only cathedral for the diocese. Look also for a name change in the diocese, with "Galveston" being scrubbed from the title. :(

Where did you get this info???

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The L.A. Cathedral is a great example of modern religious architecture. I know of course a lot of people prefer the old-style and decry the death of classic church design, but that is not new and thankfully has never stopped architects from trying different things:

The term Gothic was first used by art critics, during the Renaissance, who were referring negatively to the style of art and architecture that did not conform to the Classicism of Greece and Rome. The critics came up with the term because they thought the Goths had invented the style. They were incorrect in their thinking that it was the Goths who, in their opinion, were responsible for the destruction of the good and true Classical style. The people of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries recognized the originality of the style and referred to it as "opus modernum" (modern work)."

Why "Gothic?" Because that was the term applied to a style of architecture (dominant from the C12 through the C15) that was itself regarded as crude and primitive in contrast to the beauty, symmetry, and formality of classical (ancient Greek) architecture"

Fantastic info. Much appreciated as I am a real fan of Gothic/Romanesque Cathedral Architecture. Just found a great book at Barnes & N last weekend. I recreate woodwork in the old cathedral style especially Gothic. Let me know if you know of any sources where renderings or original drawings can be found. It is simply amazing how artisans and craftsman spent years on some of these historical churches/cathedrals/basilica's. Archiseek is a good source and Dover Publications offers some good ideas. Sometimes all I need is a photo then I create a "model" and if it seems right I produce more.

Any advise is welcomed. Thank you fernz

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Where did you get this info???

Just a hunch!, but let's wait and see....... It was 1958 when Bishop Nold changed the name of the diocese from Galveston to Galveston-Houston and moved the chancery office to Houston. Fifty years would be 2008, just right for a another name change to go along with the openning of a new cathedral. The diocese has already merged St. Mary's Cathedral (Galveston) and Sacred Heart church (Galveston) into one parish. St. Mary's is basicly a tourist attraction. They are also trying to sell the bishop's palace to the city of Galveston. Bishop Forenze also tryed closing O'Connell High School last year, but he ultimately allowed a group of supporters a chance to keep it open even though it is losing money and enrollment. It is still a catholic school but no longer affiliated with the diocese.

I may be wrong.....but previous actions by the diocese toward Galveston show otherwise.

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I may be wrong.....but previous actions by the diocese toward Galveston show otherwise.

I would be in favor of it. People would still refer to St. Mary's as St. Mary's Cathedral, just as people in St. Louis still refer to the old cathedral as.. well, as the old cathedral, even though it hasn't been one in a century.

Galveston is not central to the Archdiocese and it is not where even a large percentage of the parishioners live. Houston is now the 4th largest city in the U.S. with over 5 million in surrounding areas (which I don't think includes Galveston). The Woodlands or Katy or Sugarland are bigger communities than Galveston and one of those isn't even officially a city.

So, it would make more sense to be the Archdiocese of Houston, as it would have national recognition, whereas Galveston is seen as a little island pseudo-vacation spot.

-Michael

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Just a hunch!, but let's wait and see....... It was 1958 when Bishop Nold changed the name of the diocese from Galveston to Galveston-Houston and moved the chancery office to Houston. Fifty years would be 2008, just right for a another name change to go along with the openning of a new cathedral. The diocese has already merged St. Mary's Cathedral (Galveston) and Sacred Heart church (Galveston) into one parish. St. Mary's is basicly a tourist attraction. They are also trying to sell the bishop's palace to the city of Galveston. Bishop Forenze also tryed closing O'Connell High School last year, but he ultimately allowed a group of supporters a chance to keep it open even though it is losing money and enrollment. It is still a catholic school but no longer affiliated with the diocese.

I may be wrong.....but previous actions by the diocese toward Galveston show otherwise.

I guess it could always happen. It sure sounds more official, the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart makes it sound like it's not quite a Cathedral....just a "Co-Cathedral".

Anyway, can anyone take a picture of the construction for those of us not living in Houston? The Archdiocese web site seems to be updated very infrequently these days.

Thanks!

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Anyway, can anyone take a picture of the construction for those of us not living in Houston? The Archdiocese web site seems to be updated very infrequently these days.

Thanks!

I took this one earlier this week... it appears they're mostly done externally-speaking.

407903433_bc84806c75.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...
It looks great! Thank you Highway6!

If anyone has more pics, please share...

With pleasure. Please excuse the quality as I didn't buy the best camera-phone on the lot.

post-3700-1174600698.jpeg

post-3700-1174600708.jpeg

Edited by nx99
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I drove by today and wondered why the main windows face the Pierce Elevated instead of downtown?

Seems like they laid this out in the wrong direction.

but as you look at the front of the cathedral, you see downtown, not the pierce elevated. the windows looked like stained glass so when you're inside, the outside view shouldn't be a problem.

Edited by musicman
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I took this one earlier this week... it appears they're mostly done externally-speaking.

407903433_bc84806c75.jpg

You'll notice that the copper dome has already acquired a (chemically induced) patina.

Heck, they could have saved themselves the trouble; its proximity to the Pierce Elevated would facilitate the process in no time :D .

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You'll notice that the copper dome has already acquired a (chemically induced) patina.

Heck, they could have saved themselves the trouble; its proximity to the Pierce Elevated would facilitate the process in no time :D .

I wish they would have let it do so naturally. It would give the building a since of history as it is happening; not instant history. I guess "they" want us to view it as being there for ages.

Oh well.

m. <_<

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It's all about blending in, coexisting with the secular, and being as inoffensive as possible, but it has nothing to say about faith, spirituality, or what makes religion special to some people.

Nothing to say about faith? What about the fact that it's a giant cross facing the sky, and apparent to the hundreds of thousands of people who drive by every day on the Pierce Elevated?

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the front faces the pierce elevated because its typical cathedral design, so that the sun that rises in the east (as a metaphor for jesus rising from the dead) would bring light on the priest, while preeching. Or something like that.

Isn't the Pierce Elevated south of the cathedral?

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Nothing to say about faith? What about the fact that it's a giant cross facing the sky, and apparent to the hundreds of thousands of people who drive by every day on the Pierce Elevated?

Yes, it is shaped like a giant cross, but I'm not sure that is going to cause mass conversions among commuters on the Pierce Elevated. I meant that, at least to me, such a mundane and commonplace building would do little to inspire religious contemplation.

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Yes, it is shaped like a giant cross, but I'm not sure that is going to cause mass conversions among commuters on the Pierce Elevated. I meant that, at least to me, such a mundane and commonplace building would do little to inspire religious contemplation.

Trust me, the Catholic Church does not expect people to join because of their architectural likes or dislikes. It goes a bit deeper than that. And Cathedrals are not built as tools for mass converations.

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I meant that, at least to me, such a mundane and commonplace building would do little to inspire religious contemplation.

while the building is of a modern design, if you walk around it, I don't think i'd use the word commonplace to describe it. its size is surprising.

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Isn't the Pierce Elevated south of the cathedral?

It is southwest of it. I just thought that would have been the explination, it would be difficult to get the entrance exactly west, so that the "top of the cross" would face dirtectly east... since Downtown's grid (as well all know) doesn't run east-west, north-south. ;)

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You'll notice that the copper dome has already acquired a (chemically induced) <a href="http://web2.ccpl.org/prvEmplo

yees/HTML/scienceproject/OnlineExhibits/ncw/GreenPatinaFinish.html" target="_blank">patina</a>.

Heck, they could have saved themselves the trouble; its proximity to the Pierce Elevated would facilitate the process in no time :D .

but as you look at the front of the cathedral, you see downtown, not the pierce elevated. the windows looked like stained glass so when you're inside, the outside view shouldn't be a problem.

Seeing it almost finished, I am a little less unapproving as I was at first. A Little more Oldworld Style would have made me like it more , but since I am not Catholic I guess my Vote means nothing. I would have built on a bigger parcel of land with some Original 100 year+ old Oaks and used more natural Texas Granite as was used for Our State Capital Building, that one has massive Style going for it. I would love to visit it around Christmas time for a Mass or Classical Christmas Concert.

Edited by PasadenaTexan
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  • 1 month later...
It seems they had more money than expected. In addition to the bell tower, someone mentioned that the church was spending a huge amount on upgrading the interior, including some expensive Italian chandeliers.

The interior artwork and furnishings always had a separate budget. Bishop Fiorenza was always very careful in all his statements to make it clear that the costs were for the building only, not including furniture, stained glass, sacred objects or artwork. Therefore, I would not consider the Italian chandeliers an "upgrade". As far as I know, the interior walls are all plaster now. I believe the original design was for stone walls, but was revised when the basement was deleted to save money. The idea was that in the future, when more money might be available, the walls could be upgraded to stone.

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It seems they had more money than expected. In addition to the bell tower, someone mentioned that the church was spending a huge amount on upgrading the interior, including some expensive Italian chandeliers.

Can't wait til it's completed. If it weren't for this church I never would have got to see the Pope a few years ago. :)

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  • The title was changed to Co-Cathedral Of The Sacred Heart Church At 1111 St. Joseph Pkwy.
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