Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cathedral School begins Facility Upgrades

[This article, written by 8th grade teacher Trish Spoerl, describes the School's commitment to maintenance. While not part of the Cathedral's renovation, the School is an important part of the life of Holy Family Cathedral.]

A little over a year ago, Club 130 was established for Holy Family Cathedral School to generate an operating reserve to make facility repairs and upgrades to our historic school. We are pleased to announce that because of a steady growth in the number of generous contributors to the fund this year, new carpet for two classrooms was installed this fall. We thank those contributors to this fund and encourage others to find out more about Club 130. Information can be found on the school website under “Advancement”, or at the south exit of the Cathedral. It is our hope that the remaining six classrooms in the school can be re-carpeted by July 2010 as our building reserve fund grows in Club 130. God bless you for your dedication to continue the mission of our school that has lasted for one hundred and ten years!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sidewalk repair and new Sod

The crews using cranes to work on the Cathedral's roof promised to return to repair our sidewalks and replant any grass damaged in the exterior portion of the Renovation.

Last week, the sidewalk between the Church and School was removed. New concrete replaced the old. Beautiful green sod is growing where tire marks once were.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bp. Slattery thanks Manhattan Constr. for their part of the Renovation

In a recent Eastern Oklahoma Catholic article, Bishop Slattery thanked Manhattan Construction for doing their part in the renovation.

There are a few remaining projects, but they will have to wait for donations beyond the scope of the current pledge drive:

  • We will replace the temporary white carpet in sanctuary with marble that matches the rest of the sanctuary marble. The green carpet under the Bishop's cathedra will likely be replaced with green marble.
  • The frieze stencil that will run around the perimeter of the interior has yet to be painted.
  • The clock mechanism is largely intact, but it needs a variety of smaller machined parts to resume operation.
  • The electromagnetic strikers which sound the bronze chimes in the tower need to be replaced.
  • We need to install new protective shields over the stained glass windows.
  • We want to resurface and landscape the parking lot area across the street from the school. [The lot purchased as part of Fund for the Future has already been resurfaced and landscaped by the Diocese.]

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New Sidewalk Poured

The new sidewalk on the north side of the Rectory is drying.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sidewalk repairs underway

Our painting crews used a tremendously heavy crane to reach the spires of the Cathedral. The wheels of the crane pushed through our sidewalks into cavities in the soil below. It was a very minor version of the infamous 8th street hole.

They removed the crumbled concrete yesterday. We should see new concrete soon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Rectory

For a short time from 1914 to 1919, Holy Family Parish and School operated on two campuses. The new Holy Family Church at 8th & Boulder was dedicated on April 1, 1914 (photo: right) and was used for Masses on Sundays and feast days. The School at 3rd & Elgin waited five years for the new school in its present location to be completed. The pastor, Father John Heiring, lived in a temporary wood frame rectory near the new church. He occasionally said daily Mass at the old Holy Family church.

In his diary, Father Heiring wrote that in 1919, "work was begun on moving the frame rectory to be replaced by a brick structure in keeping with the church and providing for the priest in charge a residence comfortable but not extravagant. On June 13, excavation work was begun and foundation completed by July 26th."

Soon afterwards, Father Heiring sold the old lot and used the proceeds to speed the construction of Holy Family School. It was completed in 1919.

In the same year, Father Heiring completed his "comfortable but not extravagant" rectory.

Recently, Monsignor Gier repaired the leaky roof and replaced the rotten hand rails on the west side of the rectory.

[You may click on the photo to the left to see the details of the carved wood that makes up the hand rails.]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Eighth Street reopens

The saga of the Eighth Street hole is complete. The men who repaired the hole decided that the new patch of asphalt is ready for traffic and removed the cones and signs that protected it.

Help with our Habitat for Humanity house

Holy Family Cathedral parish and school are working with several other Catholic parishes in the Tulsa area to build a house for Habitat for Humanity.

Please consider volunteering some time to help this worthy project. The house is under construction now. The staff at Habitat for Humanity sent us an overview of the project. If you wish to help, you must complete the waiver and read the Safety Policy.

As the project progresses, the builders will post photos of the house.

Tulsa's Habitat for Humanity site

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Repairs to 8th Street are nearly complete

The concrete dried overnight. This morning, the city laid asphalt and smoothed it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Exterior Painting is Done!

The painters have finished their high-altitude task of painting the Cathedral's louvers.

It's time for a side by side comparison of the previous roof and paint choice vs. the new.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Second day of rain halts painting

Our painters remain one sunny day away from finishing their work. Since it rained again last night, the humidity is too high for the paint to stick properly.

Here's the view from my office window.

On the upside, today marks the 110th Anniversary of the first Mass in the original Holy Family church. Father Charles Van Hulse said Mass for his little parish on Sunday, September 10, 1899.

After Mass, the school staff made frantic preparations to use the church as a temporary schoolhouse. The original school building was a few weeks from being completed, so the Sisters made due in the church. On Monday, September 11, 1899 the school began classes. Saint Katharine Drexel, the "millionaire nun" from Philadelphia, lent the parish $1500 to build the school building provided that it was named the Saint Therese Institute for Creek Indian Girls.

The parish gladly accepted Saint Katharine's investment in the school, but worked quickly to repay the loan. By 1903, the $1500 was repaid and the school was promptly renamed Holy Family School.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Painters need one more DRY day

The painters are down to their last day of work, but that day is not today. Last night's rains soaked the ground and coated the louvers, making painting impossible. The crews plan to return on Thursday for the final day of work.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The 8th Street hole is filled

City workers gathered on Eighth Street to cut out the damaged part of the street.
They removed a large section of asphault, then they inspected the dirt below for more voids.
They brought dirt and gravel on trucks...
...and filled in the hole.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Noisy Day at the Cathedral

It's noisy! The painters are back at work on the north side of the Cathedral. Meanwhile, the city of Tulsa is repairing a hole in Eighth street.

You can enjoy the sights and sounds in the video below.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New pews in Chapel of Peace

A parishioner built new pews for the Chapel of Peace. They are the ones in the front row of the Chapel directly in front of the sanctuary. These pews are slightly smaller in width so they will fit in between the pillars in the Chapel.

The craftsmanship is quite excellent. It is difficult to distinguish the old ones from the new.

We will be installing kneelers soon.

More Barrels around hole in 8th Street

The city is moving traffic around the hole in 8th street. They placed a number of barrels and traffic signs to help drivers avoid the hole. Perhaps this is a sign that they are going to fill it soon.

Be careful as you drive along 8th street.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Painting is progressing nicely

Painting the Window Frames

Following a dry night, the painters are up in the big crane working on the frames around the spires' windows. The windows had suffered quite a bit of damage in the past 95 years. They were rebuilt or replaced during the copper roof installation.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Last night's rain means no paint today

Yesterday and this morning brought thunderstorms and rain. The painting crews cannot paint when the humidity is high. We may not see much progress this week.

There is no rain in the forecast tonight. Perhaps it will dry out a bit overnight.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Larger crane reaches the highest louvers

A new, larger crane rolled into the parking lot, ready to carry painters to the louvers atop the central tower. The new crane is needed to reach up and across the spaces on the north side of the Cathedral. It will also be useful when the painters focus on the louvers over the front facade of the church. The old crane was too small to reach across the front stairs or the mechanical yards holding the air conditioning equipment.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Hole in Eighth Street halts painting

Our painters moved the mobile crane to the north side of the Cathedral to continue to paint the louvers. As he finished one section, the painter/crane operator backed up the crane onto the street.

The crane drove over a weakened section of Eighth Street and nearly fell into a void in the earth below the asphault. Although he was shaken, the crane operator drove the crane to its parking spot across the street.

The city of Tulsa dispatched a crew to look at the hole. The chunks of asphault fell about three feet but did not damage anything below. The city's sewer system is intact.

The "Cathedral side" of Eighth Street is coned off. Traffic is moving in the other two lanes.

The painters decided to work some more on the south side of the Cathedral.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

White Louvers

The painters have moved their crane from the central tower to the southern small tower over the front entrance to the Cathedral.

Parishioners attending daily Mass seem happy with the changes to the

[Click on a photo for a larger version.]

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sunny Skies and White Paint

The unusual cool and rainy days in late July have given way to a hot August. While we may prefer otherwise, our painters are taking advantage of the dry weather.

Today they are painting the louvers on the south face of the central tower.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Louvers: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

The painters will begin repairing the wood and painting the wood on the exterior of the Cathedral on Friday - weather permitting.

The goal of the exterior painting is to return the Cathedral to its 1914 look: tan bricks and not-quite-brilliant-white paint. The paint will be similar to the paint used of the finials.

The white paint on the louvers will probably seem rather stark at first. Although the louvers make up a small percentage of the Cathedral's facade, any change can be shocking.

This weekend may be your last chance to see the brown paint on the louvers. You may click on the photo to see a closeup of the damaged wood and the current paint.

In a few weeks, it will look much more like it did in 1914.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

If the dew point is 5% less than the ambient temperature...

Monsignor Gier discussed the upcoming exterior paint job with our painting company today. They will be parking a lift between the Cathedral and the School on Friday.

We hope they will be able to start painting on Friday. The recent rains have raised the humidity to an unacceptable level for painting. The painters explained that the dew point must be at least 5% less than the temperature for the paint to dry properly.

Once the south side of the Cathedral is painted, they will move the lift to the north side.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Side Note: Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities' new site and buildings are nearing completion. Although their construction has nothing to do with the Cathedral's Renovation, we celebrate their progress.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A tale of two photos: 2006 & 2009

You might enjoy comparing two interior photos of the Cathedral, one taken in 2006 and the other in 2009. The obvious change is the interior paint.

It has been several months since the completion of the paint job. We have had some time to "get used" to the bright colors. What do you think of the paint? We would love to hear your comments. Please leave them in the comment box.

Not much is happening with the Renovation. The painters are working on other jobs before they begin painting the exterior of the Cathedral. Perhaps the 105 degree temperature is not ideal for painting.