John Powers at the Society of St. Barbara has posted some new information on the Springfield Cathedral renovation. The rumors have proven true…the sanctuary of this great cathedral is about to be ruined. Don’t get me wrong, the roof needs fixing and the repainting samples look good. But that sanctuary? Why on earth would anyone propose a concave curve in the highly orthogonal building? The proposed sanctuary is immense, with a few insignificant little furnishing sprinkled about at funny angles. The old altar rail is gone. The internal logic of the architect’s original plan is gone. This strange plan looks oddly reminiscent of plan from several decades ago. I know Springfield is a small town, but they can get better architectural services than this!
Look at the photo of the existing church and see the yellow columns on either side of the sanctuary. Then see those same columns in plan as black circles near the letters C and L of the word cathedral. This is a major intervention into the original fabric of the building, eating up seating and destroying the original proportions.

This is mediocre ineptitude, and architect Joseph McCarthy’s building deserves better. So do the people of the parish and the diocese. For more on the project click here.