Today's image is titled Preservation? and was photographed by Nicole Possely.
The steeple of St. Raphael's Cathedral on East Main Street in downtown Madison was removed from its perch last Friday, June 13 as seen from this photo shot one day later. One of the most visible elements in the city's skyline for some 150 years, the cathedral was gutted in a fire started by an arsonist in early 2005, only several months after substantial renovations to the spire.
"Up until last week, nothing has really been done with the cathedral, and are now dismantling the steeple for preservation," notes Possely. This was the first step in plans for rebuilding a new cathedral on the site, as announced last year by Madison Catholic Diocese Bishop Robert Morlino. Along with that most visible element of the original structure, the stained glass windows, bells, mosaics, and some of the original stone will be salvaged with an eye towards incorporating them into a new cathedral. As noted in the announcement: "The new cathedral will face Fairchild Street, utilizing what had been the parking lot of the former cathedral and allowing it to be longer and wider than the former cathedral."
The diocese is currently conducting a feasibility study survey for a new cathedral, and is soliciting donations as part of a capital campaign to move forward with planning. More information is available from the Cathedral Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Madison, as well as from the webcam that features numerous daily shots of the cathedral's remains. There is also an ongoing discussion about it's future in TDPF.
Continuing coverage of the cathedral's destruction, demolition, and plans for rebuilding are available in an archive published by The Catholic Herald newspaper published by the diocese.
This is the latest entry of Madison Snaps: photos of Madison-area events and locations. The send a message. There is no compensation for Madison Snaps photos, which are © to the respective photographers.