Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Cathedral - by David Macaulay

Fire and cathedrals are nothing new.
This 1986 PBS documentary, based on the Caldecott Medal-winning book by David Macaulay, should give you a bit more insight into the topic.
Enthusiastically recommended.

Borepatch yesterday, in the same vein .


Jim Scrummy said...

For me, 37 years ago, our family's Roman Catholic Church was set on fire. It was determined to be arson. The Altar area and communion rail were in embers, but, luckily 90% of the church was saved. A smoke alarm and detector system had been installed a few years earlier, which saved the church and the adjoining school. I believe it was the third church in 30 days that had been set on fire in our community. A Lutheran church about a mile from my parent's home had been set on fire (a total loss) about two weeks earlier. It too was arson. The arsonist, was the same person, the POS left the same clues/evidence at all three churches, but was never caught.

The biggest story from the Notre Dame fire was the badassed priest who rushed in and saved all the relics. Read the background on this priest, truly a brave man in many ways. The other big story, the stone masons 850 years ago knew what they were doing when they built the cathedral (and the Paris fire brigade! Great job!). Old tech can teach many good ideas.

Ned2 said...

A sad testament to our current state of affairs (globally), is our complete ineptitude when it comes to building things.
They knew so much more in times past.

Beans said...

Ned2. Fortunately, France has the right resources in-country. Seriously. There's a group that's been building a castle using 12th and 13th century techniques for over 10 years now. They've been training restoration specialists from all over Europe about the old ways and techniques. Even better, they've been doing it in period clothing, with period tools. Human powered crane, anyone? They've got one. Actually, they've got three or four...

The Czech President has promised a restoration team, from his country, that specializes in restoration and rebuilding.

What would be best would be a steel structure replacing the wood, made to emulate the old wood roof. Better fire resistance, better strength overall, would make the roof structure an integral part of holding the walls together (after 500-800 years, there is an issue with walls spreading a little.)

If not, then expect a lot of US old wood going to France in the next 10 years. Especially companies sourcing live oak from the South.

Germany, Belgium, Italy and France all have renovation teams specializing in repairing war damaged classical structures. These teams are using old techniques and materials combined with modern techniques and materials.

Not to mention, with all the LIDAR and other modern sensing and digital mapping systems in existence, the brains have learned a lot in recent years that have been lost, thanks to the plagues wiping out whole guilds. I would not be surprised if there are not at least 3 complete digital mappings/scans in existence that will aid in reconstruction.

The last 20 years really have been a renaissance regarding medieval and renaissance architecture. Lots of mistakes from the past (Victorian to just post WWII) have been corrected or are being corrected.

It only needs money, and commitment. Money is pouring in, faster than they can count. Commitment is another thing. So far it looks like both City France and Country France are combined in their need and wish to rebuild. We'll see.

It is truly amazing that most of the altar area survived, including the main cross. Mayhaps this, with the renewed interest in 'old school' pilgrimages in France, will inspire and return many lapsed people to God. Again, we'll see.