As I attend my classes I’ve been watching the cleanup of the Cathedral of Learning, UPitt’s iconic classroom building. This is the first time the building has looked so pristine since it was built. This picture gives some idea of the transformation.
I took this photo looking down into a courtyard from the third floor. Three sculptures have been wrapped with plastic and duct tape, creating a whole new installation, debris from the cleaning litters the pavement, and you can see a sharp demarcation between clean and dirty along the right side of the back wall.
Imagine all the dirt in Pittsburgher’s lungs collected during the years when the Cathedral got so dirty.
It is cleaner, yet I do not see it is better. The glory past is maked with soot and dirt, as well as ambition and wealth.
The restoration is needed but dirt was part of what the building is. No one asks to fix the crack of Liberty Bell, pursuing glossy and brand-new is not the way of restoration.
Hey, thanks for the re-visit to the Cathedral. When I lived there in the late 60s/early 70s, I took the elevator all the way to the top (or as far as you could go) with a friend and while we there the elevator either broke down or otherwise quit running so we had to walk down all 50 million steps! Actually I don’t remember how many floors were there but by the time I made it to the ground floor my knees were rubber! It does look amazingly cleaner though. Maybe it’s a good thing I only lived in Pittsburgh a little less than 5 years!