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Workers Removing Scaffolds From Spires At St. Patrick’s Cathedral

$170 Million Restoration Progressing
St. Patrick's Cathedral - June 13, 2013 (credit: Sean Adams / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Cardinal Timothy Dolan‘s plan to restore St. Patrick’s Cathedral is well under way.

Decades of dingy grime have been gently erased from the stately twin spires of the cathedral. You can now see the top of the north spire, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported Thursday morning.

The rest of the scaffolding will be coming down over the next two weeks.

Dolan announced the three-year, $170 million effort¬†of St. Patrick’s Day in 2012.

“The outside, as you see, is crusted with grit and the roof is leaking. We don’t really have a choice but to repair,” he said then.

To restore the Tuckahoe marble to its original creamy white color of 1879, workers have used a spray nozzle that delivers a blast of air, water, and a micro-abrasive powder.

“The material that they use is basically very finely ground up glass. It feels like sand and looks like sand and it’s so soft that I’ve been told you could even use it on your skin,” New York Archdiocese spokeswoman Kate Monaghan told Adams.

The procedure is tedious and takes more than an hour per square foot.

Work is also continuing on the roof, the sanctuary, the pews, and the stained glass windows.
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