Friday, August 29, 2008

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

After the fire in 1920.





7 comments:

Alex Fries said...

that's just amazing

Irene said...

Jeffrey, I am utterly astounded at how many items appear to have survived the fire in restorable condition -- the altars, the keyboard, many windows, and of course the narthex.

Do you have any idea of just how much really was saved -- and where it all might be?

Jeffrey Smith said...

It was the 1920's. They considered anything made after 1790 to be old garbage. The definition of a restorable item wouldn't have extended to anything made in the 1890's. They'd have just pitched it.
Besides, the pictures don't show how waterlogged that wood would have been, or how weakened the windows would have been. It's my opinion, though I haven't confirmed it yet, that the transom windows over the doors to the narthex survived. But the firemen were pouring water in massive doses in just below them.

ShariYS said...

I'm amazed that the pillars were still standing after all of that. The Stations also appear to be relatively unscathed ... but everything in there would have been covered with thick soot, anything wooden would have been either charred or water-damaged, and while stained glass can withstand high temperatures, the cooling would have produced swirled damage in them. Trust me on that. A shame that they felt it necessary to pitch the altars -- but what they have in there now is beyond magnificent!

Irene said...

I'm still sad.

ShariYS said...

That lovely wooden gothic confessional in the church now -- looks as though it may have been salvaged. Was it?

Irene said...

Now that I look at these photos again, I have to wonder how much actually burned, beyond the central roof. Trying to look under the roof fragments, the remainder seems pretty much intact -- pillars and pews (should have made a dandy bonfire) in addition to the items mentioned in my last post.

Of course it is pretty easy to second guess 88 years after the fact. But it does seem to me that more could have been saved and restored. But as you pointed out, Jeffrey, it was the 1920's....