LAYMEN'S CLUB: gift to repair Bronze Doors
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The Laymen's Club makes capital contribution toward the repair of the Great Bronze Doors

(3/20/14)During this brutal winter, you may have noticed that the Bronze Doors were under repair. You could even see one of the panels hanging from temporary scaffolding. Perhaps you've wondered what was going on?

On March 19th, our President & Treasurer handed over a check for $35,000 to make a significant contribution to funding the repair of the Great Bronze Doors!

Shown above are The Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski, Dean of the Cathedral, receiving a check from Ruth Mueller-Maerki, Laymens' Club President and Christopher L. Johnson, Club Treasurer.

In a recent letter to our Board of Governors, Shelley Grossberg said, "A gift from The Laymen's Club in support of this project will serve as a fitting addition to The Laymen's Club's legacy of contributing great treasures to the Cathedral's fabric and of advancing the Cathedral's mission in good times and in challenging ones."

The Great Bronze Doors were dedicated in 1936 in honor of Haley Fisk. They consist of four doors, each of which is eighteen feet high, six feet wide and weigh three tons.

After eighty years of use, deterioration of the bottom pivot of the northern most door has rendered it inoperable. The interior panels of this door have already been removed to allow for inspection of the condition of the existing frame and pivot from which it hinges. This pivot must be removed and reconstructed using highly-specialized techniques similar to that of its original construction. The contractor has removed this three-ton door, constructed a temporary partition to insulate the Cathedral interior, is currently repairing concrete surrounding the new pivot location, and will then reinstall the door. JS Mitchell & Sons, a trusted company with a 120 year history as a master builder in New York and on the East Coast, is serving as contractor for this project. JS Mitchell was the contractor for the ten-year restoration of the Cathedral following the fire of 2001 and has an intimate knowledge of all aspects of the building.

Through its contributions, The Laymen's Club has a long history of enhancing the procession of pilgrims through the Portal of Paradise. Each person who enters therein walks under the Pilgrim's Frieze our club contributed (in 1965) as well as the Gable Cross (1964), continuing along our most famous project, the Pilgrim's Pavement (1934), past our recently contributed Railings to the Great Choir (2012) and over the Compass Rose, installed by Laymen's Club funds in 1992.

"Hallowed this dwelling, where the Lord abideth, This is none other than the gate of heaven;
Strangers and pilgrims, seeking homes eternal, Pass through its portals."
- Hymn 361