Call it divine intervention. After three years of restoration, plus six of master-planning, the housands of square feet of scaffolding have finally come down from St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown, just in time for Pope Francis's late September visit, an unplanned yet fortuitous synchronicity. It's thanks to a biblically sized team of conservators, engineers, and designers, all shepherded by Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects .
Completed in 1888 by James Renwick, Jr., the Gothic Revival structure had fallen into disrepair, even though it had various Band-Aid improvements over the centuries. MBBA came on to noto nly repair and clean but also return it to its original monolithic splendor. That involved trucking in over 100 tons of Tuckahoe marble, scraping paint off the 9,200-pound bronze entry doors, replastering and painting the 100-foot vaulted ceiling, and reglazing the 3,700 stained-glass panels. A planned 10-well geothermal system will reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Amen.