Friday, December 07, 2007

The Speakers are Installed

If you look carefully, you'll see two slender speakers hanging on the fronts of the two red columns.

The new sound system has made an incredible difference. The clarity of the spoken word is simply amazing.

You'll hear it for yourself this weekend at Mass. Please give some feedback in the comments section below. Give your review (good or bad) and include where in the church you sat.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Monsignor Gier Looks at the Red Columns

Painting the Columns

Brave painter John Dzurilla climbs a ladder to paint the columns red. The installation team will hang the speakers this week. You will see and hear the new system this weekend.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Speakers Arrive

The speakers are here. Currently, they're sitting in boxes in the Work Sacristy. Monsignor Gier wants to wait to hang the speakers until the rest of the system is in place.

However, here's sneak peak and a bit of "advance information." They are rust red - the same color that all the columns will be when the Cathedral interior is repainted.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New sound system installation begins

In the current Cathedral News, Monsignor Gier writes:

While it is with fear and trepidation, I announce the coming of a whole new speaker system which should be in working condition for the Christmas holidays. This has been a very long project beginning with a professional acoustician and his recommendations for improving our sound system. Several months ago we had a demonstration of the new system and the sound was incredible. We are looking forward to clear sound in every corner of the Cathedral.

Ford Audio of Tulsa, the installers, are going to spend this week installing many cables. Within a few weeks, we will see two large magenta speakers placed on two columns in the apse of the Cathedral. The speakers are magenta because the columns will eventually be painted the same color.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The New Roof?

Roofers are pulling down the old wood & aluminum roof. Are they replacing it with a shiny new aluminum roof?


The new metal layer serves as "decking," much like the wood used to do. The old wood is quite rotten. The nails that held the old aluminum shingles could easily slide out of the rotten wood. That is why so many shingles fall to the ground after any particularly windy storm.

A new copper roof will eventually go over the aluminum. For now, Holy Family Cathedral will have the shiniest spires in downtown Tulsa.

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Going up?" "23rd Floor, please."

Anyone who has walked by the front of the Cathedral on a weekday knows that there seems to be a constant stream of construction workers carrying metal beams up the scaffolding into the Cathedral spires.

What are they doing?

They're building floors inside the spires. The all-metal floors will make it easier for the roofers to install the new copper roof on the Cathedral.

Each metal beam enters the south "little spire" above the front facade of Holy Family.

Workers have already completed the floors in both of the little towers. Monsignor Gier and Father Matt have climbed from floor to floor all the way to the top of the little towers.

The construction workers are currently building floors in the central tower. The photo on the right shows the area at the bottom of the spire. From the outside, it's the point where the brick ends and the conical spire begins. In the photo, you can see the inside of one of the clock faces.

This is likely to be the last photo of its kind. Soon, the workers will build floors all the way to the top of the central tower.

Update: Lift Platform Installed

When you walk into the Cathedral this weekend, you'll be greeted by a large gray platform. This is the new lift platform. It's capable of carrying a person in a wheelchair up to the Cathedral or down to the basement.

The wall-mounted controls looks pretty easy to use.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Update: Lift Chair Rail installed

Here are some photos of the lift chair's rail. You can see the "interim" lift chair in the background. [As always, click on an image to see a larger version.]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Return of the Lift Chair

Our able handyman, John Dzurilla, repaired minor termite damage to the wall near the stairwell that leads to the basement. He replaced the wooden wall with a drywall one. It will match the rest of the basement. The "mud" is drying now.

On June 20, 2006, I promised to let you know when the new lift chair would be installed. Today's the day.

The Oklahoma City company that sells heavy-duty lift chairs sent two men to install rails upon which the lift chair will ride. [Click on the photo to the right to see the men unpacking the rails.]

Once completed, a parishioner with a handicap will enter the south foyer and may choose to go up to the church or down to the basement. Perhaps the best feature is he may travel from the church level to the basement non-stop.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spires prepared for Renovation

The restoration of Holy Family Cathedral continues. The current focus is on preparing the internal structure of the spires for an external facelift.

In 2006, similar work was done in the lower parts of the Cathedral. Workers replaced aging wooden attic floors with new metal ones. The three benefits are: resistance to fire, greatly improved structural integrity, and increased longevity.

The scaffolding next to one of the towers allows easy access to the spires. Construction workers will install additional metal floors inside the spires. These new floors will allow for the safe removal and replacement of the wooden parts of the spires.

Once the floors are in place, work will begin to remove rapidly deteriorating wood decking. The current shingles are anchored to the wood decking.

This phase of the renovation will likely draw the most attention from the general public because it is the most visible. The aluminum shingles installed in the late 1950s replaced the original red roof. The next set of shingles will be copper, the classic cathedral roof material.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Done: The Choir's move to their new practice room

The Cathedral Choir is enjoying their new practice room. Meanwhile, the former practice room is being prepared for its transformation into the Servers' Sacristy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Choir Room - Spackled & Painted

The final coat of paint is on the walls of the Choir Room/Stage.

The Choir will be able to begin moving very soon.

[Click on the photo for a larger image.]

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Restriping the Parking Lot

It's hot work, but workers are refinishing a drop-off zone for the school. They also repainted the stripes marking the parking places.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Update: Sound System

Our acoustic consultant, Wade Worley, has finished the design of the new sound system for the Cathedral. Last month, he demonstrated the speaker technology to Monsignor Gier, Father Matt, and some of the Cathedral staff.

Yesterday, three audio companies sent representatives to the Cathedral to see the facilities. They reviewed the design plans, made notes about the building, and asked Mr. Worley questions. The companies will be placing bids soon.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Completed: Stage Floor

That's an impressive finish!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Update: Sanding the Stage Floor

Here's how the Auditorium Stage's floor looks. It is nearly stripped. The men working on the floor will refinish it this week. We will put a coat of paint on the walls. Then, the choir will start moving in - perhaps as early as next week.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Cathedral Shuffle

Holy Family Cathedral is rather large (for a Catholic church in Oklahoma), but it seems like we are always searching for more storage space, yet another place to have a meeting, or a new spot to store seasonal items like our ever-growing Nativity scene.

Here are the changes:
  1. Pre-School Religious Education classes are moving to the School's Pre-School classroom
  2. The Cathedral Choir is moving to the Auditorium's Stage
  3. The Sacristy is expanding into the current Choir practice room
Sacristy Here is the current Sacristy. Yes, it is quite large and totally adequate for almost all parish Masses. We get congested during Diocesan prayer services and Masses. There isn't enough space for the bishop, his deacons, a half-dozen acolytes, and many, many concelebrating priests.

This Sacristy will remain intact. It will expand into the original Sacristy, now serving as the Choir practice Room.

New Sacristy space This room was the original sacristy, but the choir is using it as their practice room. The sacrarium is here (not shown in the photo). This area will hold most of the items needed by the acolytes.

So, where is the Choir going?

The Stage Heiring Auditorium's stage will be the new practice room for the Cathedral Choir. The walls are getting a fresh coat of paint. Cathedral maintenance men replaced a few broken drop ceiling panels. Today, workers are preparing to refinish the wood floor.

The stage is convenient for the choir because it is much larger than the old space. They will practice two stories below the choir loft.

Each December, the School and the parish RE program present Christmas pageants to their proud parents. All three groups will share the stage that month.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Holy Family History

Here's a twenty minute documentary on the history of Holy Family parish. It was first viewed publicly at the parish's Centennial Gala in 2001. The film is broken up into three parts.

Tiles in the Southeast Vestibule

The carpet in the southeast vestibule is gone. The carpet glue is gone too. We found beautiful tiles under the carpet. This is similar to what we found in the northeast vestibule recently.

These tiles are in generally good condition, but the floor is cracked in a few places. We are exploring repair options.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Removing the Carpet in the Southeast Vestibule

John and Peter Dzurilla removed the carpet from the southeast entrance off Boulder Avenue. This is similar to what they did in the northeast entrance a few months ago. We found wall-to-wall tile in both entrances. In this entrance, the tile is under a thick layer of glue. The glue will likely be removed by this weekend.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cathedral Interior Doors: Update

This is the new view from the small entryway on the north side of the Cathedral. Fr. Matt La Chance continues his work removing the flat wooden inset pieces in the door. He has replaced them with glass.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, there are many advantages to these new glass panels. I especially like the additional light.

Please use the "comments" below to say what you think.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Mr. Wade Worley, an acoustic consultant, is in the Cathedral testing a sound system. The tall thin white column is a vertical array of speakers. This system allows sound to be "steered" towards the congregation and steered away from the ceiling.

The initial reviews are positive.

The speaker will likely hang from the large column to the left. A matching speaker will hang from the column on the other side of the Cathedral.

Watch this blog for more news as it happens.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Glass in the Cathedral's Interior Doors

The Cathedral's interior doors will look quite different when you come to Mass this weekend.

Over the years, many parishioners entering the church have collided with others exiting the church. The problem was the all-wood doors - quite beautiful yet quite opaque.

The photo to the right shows the doors in progress. The middle sections of the doors have been removed and the glass awaits installation.

The glass will likely accentuate the cross shape in the doors and it will prevent any future "fender benders" as worshippers enter and exit the building.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ice Damage Repairs: Update

The metal grating that protects the air conditioners from falling ice has been repaired. There are a few places where the grating is bowed a little bit. Overall, the grating is ready for another winter.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Repairing Ice Damage

Remember that ice storm last winter? The storm deposited two or three inches of ice over every house, tree, sidewalk - and Cathedral - in Tulsa. After several long and cold days, the weather finally changed.

The sun eventually warmed the ice on our tall Gothic church's roof. A large sheet slid off the roof and crashed onto our air conditioning equipment. The ice would have done considerable damage to the relatively delicate equipment. However, there is a large metal "roof" over the air conditioners that lets water through, but blocks ice and other falling objects. It's good to know that the metal structure does its job well. The bad news is that the metal roof was nearly destroyed in the process.

Men used a small crane to remove debris from the mechanical yard where the air conditioners are. They are currently working to rebuild the protective framework.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A little cleanup here, a lot of planning there...

This is a photo of the interior of one of the small Cathedral towers. This room is to the side of the choir loft. You can see similar areas in a video from last year. It was quite cluttered at the time. Now, most of the debris is gone and the floor has been patched.

Monsignor Gier is busy planning the next phase of the renovation. If you want to know what the next phase includes look up. Look way up.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

"Hit The Lights!"

Did you notice anything different about the lighting in the Cathedral last weekend? No? I didn't either.

That's a good thing. It means that our new lighting controllers and our new wiring for the lights are working fine. Our lighting is now safer and more convenient.

Safety is always good. The new wiring will help to ensure the safety for all of us who pray here. It also reduces the risk of fire to our beautiful cathedral.

The new lighting controllers are more convenient. We will first see the real benefit on Palm Sunday during the reading of the Passion. Many churches around the world dim their lights and the parishioners kneel as we recall the moment when Christ died on the cross. At Holy Family, three servers used to rush to an electrical panel (see photo on the right) to turn off and on twenty-eight individual switches. The new controllers allow a priest to dim the lights by touching a single button.

Here's a photo of the new controllers. Note: this machinery is not the "on/off" button.

This week, workers are rewiring the flourescent lights below the choir loft. (see photo below)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nice Pipes

Usually when we think of pipes in the Cathedral, we imagine the nearly 3000 pipes in our 54-rank Austin Pipe Organ.

Today, we have some new pipes. No, they're not musical, but they are an important addition to keep our Cathedral safe.

This photo shows the space in the Cathedral basement where the water supply from the city of Tulsa meets our fire suppression system. This equipment pushes water into the hundreds or thousands of feet of pipe leading to the sprinkler heads in the Cathedral, the Sacristy, and the many rooms in the basement.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Video Tour of the Cathedral

This isn't so much a "Renovation Update" as a view of what Holy Family looks like today. As the renovation proceeds, I might have to reshoot much of the video.

Later on, I will make another video so we can "take a tour" of the outside of the Cathedral.

I thank Cathy Nelson, the brave photographer who rode a crane up to the clerestory to get those amazing photos. I am forever indebted to Janie Thomas for equalizing the color in the photos I took of the main windows.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fire Supression system installed in basement

Work continues on the installation of the fire suppression system in the Cathedral's basement. This photo shows some of the equipment waiting to be connected.

There are two types of fire suppression: wet and dry. Both types have pipes with sprinkler heads which will soak the space immediately around them. A wet system has water in the pipes, waiting to be dispensed by the heads. Ours is a dry system, meaning that there is no water in the pipes ordinarily. If the system detects a fire, an enormous pump will quickly move water up into the pipes and out the sprinkler heads. The advantage of a dry system is that there is no risk of a leaky pipe damaging the interior of the Cathedral.

The installation team temporarily converted a storage room near the Auditorium's stage into a workshop. Installers cut and bend pipes to fit into our building.

Please continue to pray for the success of this renovation to our Cathedral.