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Saint Pat's Unfinished Bell Towers


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#1 gotutex

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 08:24 AM

Seems like I read last year that the Catholic church authorities had announced plans to finish the unfinished bell towers at Saint Patrick Cathedral (downtown). That story and lack of follow through have stoked some interest around town and -- for me -- a few questions:

* With Saint Pat's being one of the oldest church landmarks in the downtown, why has it taken so long for church leaders to move forward toward topping off their historic structure? There's got to be a good story in there somewhere about the church's history or the building history.

* As I recall, no rendering was published along with the topping-off story. What will the new tower(s) look like?

* What will goveren the design for the addition, given the historic status of the building?

* Has any one or any group raised significant objections to altering the building? If so, on what grounds?

* Have the plans been scrapped, or is this project perhaps bogged down in red tape? (Or have the media overlooked the project?)

#2 johnlp

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 10:56 AM

I have a book showing renderings of St. Pat's with two spires on either side of the main entrance that was to be part of the original plans. I will scan those tonight.

John

#3 cberen1

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 11:05 AM

QUOTE(johnlp @ Feb 27 2006, 12:56 PM) View Post

I have a book showing renderings of St. Pat's with two spires on either side of the main entrance that was to be part of the original plans. I will scan those tonight.

John


I was a parishoner at St. Pat's for a few years. They sent out a mailer for a capital campaign that included drawings of the proposed spires. I think it just wasn't their first priority. They wanted to acquire more property South of the church for Parish and Diocesan building needs. I think they'd like the spires, but just aren't ready to pay for them yet.

#4 gotutex

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 11:06 AM

QUOTE(G. O. Todd @ Feb 27 2006, 08:24 AM) View Post

Seems like I read last year that the Catholic church authorities had announced plans to finish the unfinished bell towers at Saint Patrick Cathedral (downtown). That story and lack of follow through have stoked some interest around town and -- for me -- a few questions:

* With Saint Pat's being one of the oldest church landmarks in the downtown, why has it taken so long for church leaders to move forward toward topping off their historic structure? There's got to be a good story in there somewhere about the church's history or the building history.

* As I recall, no rendering was published along with the topping-off story. What will the new tower(s) look like?

* What will goveren the design for the addition, given the historic status of the building?

* Has any one or any group raised significant objections to altering the building? If so, on what grounds?

* Have the plans been scrapped, or is this project perhaps bogged down in red tape? (Or have the media overlooked the project?)







Interesting to know that there were original plans for the spires. I'll look forward to seeing that. Thanks.





#5 Now in Denton

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE(G. O. Todd @ Feb 27 2006, 08:24 AM) View Post

Seems like I read last year that the Catholic church authorities had announced plans to finish the unfinished bell towers at Saint Patrick Cathedral (downtown). That story and lack of follow through have stoked some interest around town and -- for me -- a few questions:

* With Saint Pat's being one of the oldest church landmarks in the downtown, why has it taken so long for church leaders to move forward toward topping off their historic structure? There's got to be a good story in there somewhere about the church's history or the building history.

* As I recall, no rendering was published along with the topping-off story. What will the new tower(s) look like?

* What will goveren the design for the addition, given the historic status of the building?

* Has any one or any group raised significant objections to altering the building? If so, on what grounds?

* Have the plans been scrapped, or is this project perhaps bogged down in red tape? (Or have the media overlooked the project?)


I recived a flyer thats the only picture I ever saw of the towers. The inside was redone from top to bottom about 2 years ago. It's very nice. But don't hold your breath to see the Towers anytime soon.

#6 johnlp

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 12:05 PM

QUOTE(G. O. Todd @ Feb 27 2006, 11:06 AM) View Post


Interesting to know that there were original plans for the spires. I'll look forward to seeing that. Thanks.


Yes, it is an 1890 drawing and is on file at the Amon Carter (courtesy of John W. Hackney). It is published in The Tarrant County Historical Resources Survey (Ft. Worth Central Business District) page 117 (image 160a).

Here it is! smile.gif

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#7 DrkLts

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 01:59 PM

Whoa! Very cool

#8 AndyN

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 08:13 PM

That city on the east end of the Trinity River recently had a steeple and bell tower added to the Guadalupe Cathedral in the Arts District. Might I say.... sweet! Looks like it has been there from day one.

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#9 John T Roberts

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 08:44 PM

If I can ever find some time to upload some Dallas pictures, I have shots of the completed spire. The cathedral in Dallas is now 219 feet tall and the supposed height of St. Patrick's with the spires is 200 feet.

#10 DrkLts

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 09:00 PM

This has me thinking...
So if a building that has stood for a hundred+ years or so, gets added on to, that doesn't alter its historic status? Even though the intent from the beginning WAS to build them in the 1st place?
I mean if it's history of exsistance WAS without the spires, finnishing would only reduce its status right?
It's like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, they could straighten it up I guess if they tried with todays technology, (I'm sure it WAS meant to be straight) but that would take away the magic.

#11 gotutex

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 09:33 AM

QUOTE(DrkLts @ Feb 27 2006, 09:00 PM) View Post

This has me thinking...
So if a building that has stood for a hundred+ years or so, gets added on to, that doesn't alter its historic status? Even though the intent from the beginning WAS to build them in the 1st place?
I mean if it's history of exsistance WAS without the spires, finnishing would only reduce its status right?
It's like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, they could straighten it up I guess if they tried with todays technology, (I'm sure it WAS meant to be straight) but that would take away the magic.



______

Good question. However, everything is relative. I'm sure you're aware that lots of the greatest historic European church structures were built over a span of hundreds of years. In that context, the guys in Fort Worth may be just getting started. Does that make Saint Pat "unhistoric"?

#12 DrkLts

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 12:04 PM

^^^ I forgot my history on European cathedrals, you're right, I remember watching PBS and Discovry channels about such span in constructions.
It would be nice to see those Spires. Actually I like the one AndyN posted. One spire looks nicer.

#13 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 10:27 PM

Even though I am knowledgeable in historic preservation, I'm not an expert. I think in the cases of St. Patrick's and the Guadalupe Cathedral in Dallas, you could look at the spire completion in two ways.

First of all, additions are allowed to be made to historic buildings. If they weren't allowed, the historic designation would severely limit the rights of the building owner. The additions that are allowed, have to fall within certain good taste guidelines but they are usually allowed. Any addition that adversely affects or covers up a main street facade would not be allowed, or it would jeopardize the building's historic status.

Let's consider the spires as pure additions to both churches. Even though they are tall, they constitute a very small portion of the overall facade. An addition like these would probably considered as not having an adverse affect on the historical character of the facade. Secondly, the addition of the spires on both churches were built according to the original design of the church that was never completed; therefore, no adverse affect would be made to the original building. The new spires are compatible, designed to the likeness of the original architect's sketches, and are constructed with matching materials. I don't think any Landmark Commission member would deny the application build them.

Looking at this in a different way, leads you back to the same point. If the historic churches are considered incomplete, then finishing the spire just finishes the project on an already declared historic church. Therefore, with proper approval, the spires complete the building.

#14 Now in Denton

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 10:50 AM

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ Feb 28 2006, 10:27 PM) View Post


Looking at this in a different way, leads you back to the same point. If the historic churches are considered incomplete, then finishing the spire just finishes the project on an already declared historic church. Therefore, with proper approval, the spires complete the building.


This generation my never ever see them built. I hope I am wrong. When I am at Mass I often hope and dream that City Hall will move so St Patrick's could expand. This is just a pipe dream I know. It's trully is a very small Church. Lost seating about 10 years ago to make code for fire.

Here's so General info from the Church newsletter.

1870- 1876 Mass Offered Sometimes
1876 Established as St.Stanislaus Parish with Resident Pastor
1892 Now St. Patrick church compleated
1954 Named Co-Cathedral of Dallas-Fort Worth Diocese
1969 Named Cathedral of the Fort Worth Diocese
2001 Rededicated after recent Restoration

#15 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:28 PM

The completion of the bell towers is on this month's Agenda of the Downtown Design Review Board.

#16 mosteijn

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 09:52 PM

Awesome!

Is that wireless the agenda mentions a WiFi system for Sundance Square? That would be a great plus for downtown!

#17 David Love

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 10:40 PM

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ Jun 5 2007, 09:28 PM) View Post

The completion of the bell towers is on this month's Agenda of the Downtown Design Review Board.


Anyone attend?

Results...

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#18 safly

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 01:17 AM

QUOTE
This generation my never ever see them built. I hope I am wrong. When I am at Mass I often hope and dream that City Hall will move so St Patrick's could expand.


Have you tried praying? dry.gif

Why would one need historic preservation granted to a secular or private establishment such as an old church?

Brings to mind the comedian, Bernie Mac, and what he said in the original Kings of Comedy. Mentioning and joking about churches and how they all have their own "building funds". LOL!

I know that's right.
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#19 John T Roberts

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 08:46 PM

Safly, landmarking a church is very important towards preservation. If a church is landmarked, then if the church disbanded, another congregation could come in and use the building. Otherwise, a developer would probably purchase it and then put up a parking lot, or a high rise building.

David, I don't know of anyone that attended the meeting.

#20 safly

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 03:21 PM

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ Jun 10 2007, 09:46 PM) View Post

Safly, landmarking a church is very important towards preservation. If a church is landmarked, then if the church disbanded, another congregation could come in and use the building. Otherwise, a developer would probably purchase it and then put up a parking lot, or a high rise building.

David, I don't know of anyone that attended the meeting.



How likely is a Catholic Church to disband? But I do see your point.

Now if it was a founding MISSION or founding something else either for the town or the organization, then I could see the WORTH in doing so.

How many State of Texas approved landmarks pertain to a church or place of worship? How many national?
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#21 John T Roberts

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 08:22 PM

Safly, when I used an example of a church disbanding, I was not specifically talking about St. Patrick's. I was just using the situation as an example.

I did a quick search on the Texas Historical Commission's web site and it looks like there are 4,576 churches that are landmarked in the state. I tried to search for listings on the National Register of Historic Places, but I struck out. From the number of churches here in Texas, one could assume that the number across the country is significantly higher.

#22 Fire-Eater

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 10:55 PM

If I was on the Commission I would OK the spires if they were part of the original plan, ESPECIALLY if the original drawings were used for their construction. Me like.
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#23 safly

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 11:10 PM

I too was using RCatholic churches in general for my point.

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ Jun 11 2007, 09:22 PM) View Post

Safly, when I used an example of a church disbanding, I was not specifically talking about St. Patrick's. I was just using the situation as an example.

I did a quick search on the Texas Historical Commission's web site and it looks like there are 4,576 churches that are landmarked in the state. I tried to search for listings on the National Register of Historic Places, but I struck out. From the number of churches here in Texas, one could assume that the number across the country is significantly higher.



MY gosh! I did not know.

Usually it's old log cabins/one room schools or cemetaries that get the designation throughout the state.

Well I do know of and have visitd the St. Patrick's Cathedral in DC, which I believe has national designation. Not sure about the one in NYC. Is there special order or arrangements when a DISTRICT like that in DofColumbia designates a site as a national landmark. Same in Republic of Puerto Rico or US VI?

Can a location on a NA Indian reservation have national landmark designation? dry.gif
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#24 Fire-Eater

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 12:45 PM

QUOTE(safly @ Jun 12 2007, 12:10 AM) View Post

Is there special order or arrangements when a DISTRICT like that in DofColumbia designates a site as a national landmark. Same in Republic of Puerto Rico or US VI?

Can a location on a NA Indian reservation have national landmark designation? dry.gif


A building is nominated for the National Register of Historic Places (as individual property, district, site, or landmark) through each State Historic Preservation Office (which is the THC in Texas). I think PR, USVI, and DC have preservation officers like the states.

I'm not sure how the native tribes do it -- it's like, kinda, their property. I think they may go straight to the NPS. Hmmmmm. Maybe I should check Section 106 and get back to you on this.

After state (or whatever) approval, it's forwarded on to the National Park Service in the Department of the Interior for approval by the Keeper of the National Register.

Remember: being in the NRHP provides the property some protection only in the event of a federal undertaking. If there's no federal involvement, only a local preservation ordinance will protect a resource. For example, a federal historic landmark may be demolished by the owner tomorrow if there's no federal involvement and no local government protection.

WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

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#25 bhudson

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:48 PM

There is a sign in front of the cathedral now describing the project. They have begun an exterior restoration and completion of the tower spires smile.gif . Scaffolding is already up on the north side.

It's not my church, not even my denomination, but I'm looking forward to the results. I think it will be awesome.


#26 Now in Denton

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:14 AM

QUOTE(bhudson @ Dec 11 2007, 01:48 PM) View Post

There is a sign in front of the cathedral now describing the project. They have begun an exterior restoration and completion of the tower spires smile.gif . Scaffolding is already up on the north side.

It's not my church, not even my denomination, but I'm looking forward to the results. I think it will be awesome.



Only to face a parking garage and the AT&T building. Bravo Fort Worth !

#27 Fort Worthology

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:38 AM

QUOTE(Now in Denton @ Dec 12 2007, 11:14 AM) View Post

Only to face a parking garage and the AT&T building. Bravo Fort Worth !


And a very pretty Art Deco court building.

And the Convention Center.

And, you know, the Omni.

It's going to be a good parking garage. And you can't really do much about the AT&T Building, can you? What would you have them do - pick up the church and move it?

I fail to see the point in spinning this into something negative. Of all the things to complain about...

#28 noyb

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:20 AM

Thought you might find this interesting.
Looks like there's been a few changes.
Andrew Gilchrist and crew.


#29 JOCOguy

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 04:49 PM

Although we attended St. Alice / Holy Family in the Westside, ever once and a while my mother would take us to St. Patricks and after mass we'd go to Picadilly or Jetton's to eat.
Wasn't there an old rendering of the original plan for the bell towers on the old forum? I think someone found in the the FW Library.

#30 JBB

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 04:55 PM

It was in a post on the first page of this thread, but it looks like it's a dead link.

#31 cberen1

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 09:22 AM

QUOTE (noyb @ Feb 2 2008, 09:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thought you might find this interesting.
Looks like there's been a few changes.
Andrew Gilchrist and crew.


What church is that? It's very different from St. Pat's.

#32 tjh1

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:24 PM

It looks like it might be St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. That's just my guess.

#33 ryder wyles

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:38 PM

QUOTE (cberen1 @ Feb 4 2008, 09:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (noyb @ Feb 2 2008, 09:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thought you might find this interesting.
Looks like there's been a few changes.
Andrew Gilchrist and crew.


What church is that? It's very different from St. Pat's.


This building is either the First Baptist Church of Beaumont or the First Baptist Church of Houston. Both buildings were built around the same time and to the same plan. The Houston building existed from the 1890s till destroyed by a hurricane in 1919. It may have continued to be used in damaged form until replaced in 1925. The Beaumont building was used until a new building was built in the 1920s. The 1890s building still exists and is the Beaumont Public Library.

#34 bhudson

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:52 PM

A lot of the exterior work has been completed on this building, but alas, no bell towers. Attention has been turned to the adjacent house/office building, which looks to also be near completion.

Does anyone know if the bell towers are still a go? The rest of the exterior is much improved, and I think it's odd to clean, seal, and repaint the entire building if there was about to be a major addition overhead; why not wait and paint it all at once? It just gives me the impression that the towers are cancelled or delayed.

#35 kwebster

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 09:19 PM

Anybody know anything about this?




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