NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Manhattan cathedral known for the blessing of the animals each year took it a step further Wednesday.
CBS2’s Elise Finch was there as a trumpet led a procession from the front of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine to the back, where the cathedral’s resident peacocks were ready to fly into their new home.
It’s a state-of-the-art hutch that’s replacing a worn plywood structure. But first, the new space was blessed.
“Bless this new peacock home. Bless Phil and Harry and Jim as they live in it,” the Right Reverend Andrew Dietsche said.
The beautiful birds are named after former heads of the Cathedral Church and School.
“The peacocks were a gift from the Cathedral School to the cathedral property. We have a 13 acre campus here, and they live among the students,” said Jennifer Rhones, of the Cathedral School.
“Since we’re in the city, we don’t get the chance to see beautiful birds and creatures. But here we do,” said eighth grader Zoe McAlinden.
“I like the colors,” another student added. “Blue, green, silver and kind of goldish.”
The peacocks are free to interact with the students, roam, rest and perch where they please. But at night, when it’s cold, they need protection.
That’s where the hutch comes in. The new one features poles for perching, an easy-to-clean floor and panels to help heat and ventilate.
The winning design merges function and features that were inspired by the cathedral itself.
“You see the windows that the peacock hutch mirrors – the Gothic shape with the pointed arches. The shape of the sort of scales on the side of the hutch mirror the shapes within the leaded glass windows in the Rose Window,” Reverend Dietsche said.
It’s truly a birdhouse befitting fancy fowl.
Employees at Ennead Architects had a friendly, in-house competition to see who could come up with the best peacock hutch design. Then people at the Brodsky Organization constructed it. All of the services were donated.