...for Transfiguration of Our Lord, that is. If you've been following our updates, you know by now that the once grand church--long in the midst of a torturous Long Goodbye--is now in the midst of an equally tortuous demolition. Thus far the demolition had been slow, and if you turned your head just so, you could still see the grand old dame through the decay, minus the bulldozers and smashed stone.
Now? Well, it's just about gone. But first, a word on it from one of the Project's staunchest allies, Bill:
I went to the site of the Church of Transfiguration today (11/8/09), with my camera, to see what progress has been made. Needless to say, it is a most depressive site. Demolition has commenced and is moving "full speed ahead." The front of the Church is almost completely destroyed. The middle section of the Church looks almost like it is completely gone. You are able to peer inside the building from street level (on Cedar Street). It looks like most of the mosaic tile is still in the building, as well as other adornments. You can see the complete mosaic Crucifixion scene above the main altar; it appears it will come down in rubble. This is the scene you posted on your blogspot. I have been talking to people close to the project & they inform me that the mosaic is too difficult and time consuming to save (although very few fragments have been saved). What an utter disgrace to allow priceless materials in this Church to be reduced to rubble. I just wanted to give you an update. I STRONGLY suggest that if you wish to capture any pictures, NOW is the time or this building will be gone within weeks. Also, you can see more mosaic work and columns from the back of the Church on Hazel? Street. Since I mentioned that the middle part of the Church is almost gone, you can peer inside to see. A sad day for Church lovers; for I can imagine the thousands of families attending this Church throughout the years receiving their sacraments...
"Disgrace" is too soft a word. But ironically, his words came into the Project's box only hours before another e-mail from Joe Kearney, whose invaluable photography has been instrumental in helping the Project to chronicle Transy's End.
If Bill's words didn't paint the picture, than Joe's pictures surely will. Get your tissues ready.
The Project is built on words and wit, but even those fail me as I look at these photographs. I only imagine the visceral reaction would be stronger if I were there in person; as it stands, these images are a swift punch to the gut.
Are you happy now, Archdiocese? Did you get everything you wanted? You cowards.