Boston, MA– Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross’ restoration project is finishing up after two years of intricate work on the historic building. The $26 million renovation project was privately funded. The extensive work included the installation of handicap-accessible pews, brighter LED lights, and the restoration of the cathedral's brilliant stained glass. Boston 25 News reports that New England’s largest Roman Catholic church will re-open on April 14 (Palm Sunday) this year. The restoration of the beloved church was managed by Suffolk Construction.
The cathedral, located along Washington Street in the South End of Boston, has been standing since 1875. Since then, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross has been the meeting place for many Catholic masses, ceremonies, and celebrations. The impressive church space has also welcomed many non-Catholics, including former President Barack Obama who spoke before an interfaith prayer vigil after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Over the years, the cathedral structure began to show its age, and Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, wanted to prioritize repairs to the building. According to Father Kevin O’Leary, the cathedral's rector, “Cardinal O’Malley had a great desire for this to become the center of Catholic life again in this diocese.” Once the word was out that repairs and updates were needed, private donations starting coming in.
The beginning of the restoration was challenging. Robert Kountz, the project manager for Suffolk Construction, told Boston 25 News officials that he found that "some of the types of insulation were made out of horse hair.” Suffolk Construction aimed to preserve the church’s historical authenticity throughout the renovation, but they also wanted to bring the building up to par with present-day building codes. The project required a lot of attention to detail in order to hide the sprinkler pipes, tuck the wires away, and restore the church’s original beauty.
The final installations are scheduled for this upcoming week. The trim is being set into place and sanded, the Italian marble is cut and ready to be secured, and the final sets of doors are on their way to the project site. Boston residents and many other visitors are eager to see what the church will look like a week from this upcoming Sunday.