Friday, November 10, 2006

Electrical Work

The lamps (the bulbs) in the lighting fixtures in the Cathedral are new. We have had some difficulty in finding replacement lamps when old ones burned out because they are no longer commonly made. The new lamps are standard sized, inexpensive, and plentiful.

The Cathedral lighting is only one part of a larger project to bring the electrical wiring up to current code. Much of the wiring in the Cathedral and the Cathedral basement has been replaced during past renovations. For example, the not-so-recent renovations of the Auditorium and the room we used to call the "panel room" (now the Halpine Room) probably included new wiring. The 1984 installation of the new pipe organ required new wiring to the choir loft.

The Rectory's wiring is older. Electricians cut power to the Rector last Wednesday to examine the state of the wiring. It was a dark and quiet day! The electricians said that much of the wiring and many breaker boxes will be replaced. I expect a few weekdays without power in the next few months. [When the power to the Rectory is cut, the phones stop working. If you try to call and get no answer after several rings, the power is probably out.]

This photo shows current work in the space above the Halpine Room. I am no expert, but I believe that the large pipe is part of the fire suppression system. The smaller conduits are for the electrical system.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Vestibules: Before and After

Here are two "Before and After" photos showing the change in our vestibule. Actually, the top photo is the vestibule south of the main entrance to the Cathedral. The lower photo is the renovated vestibule north of the main doors. Notice how the choice of paint complements the stained glass. The new paint draws more attention to the details of our beautiful windows.

Friday, November 03, 2006

'Tis Done (for now)

This first phase of the Cathedral's renovation is complete!

The enlarged restroom is finished. The sink and mirror are in place. The restroom is handicapped-accessible and family friendly. When you come to Mass this weekend, be sure to take a peek at the beautiful woodwork and the great tilework (design courtesy of our talented Associate Pastor, Fr. Matt).

Let's recap the work done in this first Phase of the Renovation:
  1. Decaying wood in the upper church has been replaced by new wood and metal bracing.
  2. The previous sound system's speakers and the "gondola" that held them have been removed from the ceiling.
  3. New braces reinforce the roof, eliminating any swaying and creaking in the upper church due to high winds during Oklahoma's lengthy storm season.
  4. A new fire suppression system protects the entire Cathedral from fire danger.
  5. The air conditioning ducts have been re-routed so that we will enjoy cool air in the Summer, but we won't have to look at unsightly air vents.
  6. The men's restroom has been expanded to accommodate wheelchair-bound parishioners and guests.
  7. The cathedra, the Bishop's chair, sits at the side of the sanctuary, near its original position where it was in 1914.
  8. Most important to Catholics, the Blessed Sacrament is now reserved in the central high altar.
As an added bonus, the vestibule outside the new restroom is painted in new colors. The original tile floor has been restored. These new wall colors are a sneak peak of what the entire interior of the Cathedral might look like as the Renovation continues.

Work will continue! We are currently searching for a better lift chair to assist our parishioners who have difficulty climbing stairs.

Check back here often. Soon, you'll see new posts describing in detail the future Phases of the Renovation. The next Phases will include a new copper roof, restored spires, a greatly improved sound system, a repainted Cathedral interior, and the restoration of our beautiful statues, altars, and Stations of the Cross.

Please remember the Cathedral in your prayers.