Cultural/Worship Best Project: St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
New York City
Owner Zubatkin Owner Representation LLC
Lead Design Firm Murphy Burnham and Buttrick
General Contractor Structure Tone
Structural Engineer Robert Silman Associates
MEP Engineer Landmark Facilities Group
The ultimate goal of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral project was to restore the structure to its original state and protect it for the future.
“St. Patrick’s is a New York City landmark and one of the most revered cathedrals in the country,” says James Donaghy, chairman of Structure Tone. “The level of craftsmanship and detail were incredible, and we’re very proud and honored to play a role in such a monumental project.”
One of the greatest challenges of the project was allowing the cathedral, with 5 million visitors per year, to remain open to the public during construction.
The team accomplished this safely by building more than 35 stories of scaffolding to shield pedestrians. The scaffolding also was built around the entire facade and reached 330 ft above the sidewalk. Additionally, work was halted on Sundays and during services on the high altar.
The multiphase renovation included the upgrade of the entirety of the cathedral’s interior and exterior.
More than 3,700 stained glass panels as well as 300 wood pews with 3,200 separate panels were cleaned, stabilized and conserved. The skylights over the side chapels, which had not been used since the 1970s, were reopened. The gallery organ, chancel and triforium organs were restored.
Construction also included building new framework, lattice for stairs, ladders, braces, frames and platforms, and removing the cathedral’s 9,000-lb bronze doors as well as reinstalling them once they had been renovated.
The mechanical, electrical and fire suppression systems were all upgraded and replaced, and a new geothermal plant will allow the cathedral to use environmentally sustainable technology to reduce heating and cooling costs.