Old Cathedral gets much needed restoration

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)--  "This is a full blown restoring the 1890's glory of a place," says Fr. Richard Quirk, the Old Cathedral Associate Pastor.

For Father Richard Quirk, his church, the Basilica of Saint Louis, King, and its new steeple, along with some downtown development, are going to bring all the people.

"I see this as the heart of urban renewal," says Quirk.

Friday morning a new gold leafed ball and cross were placed back on top of this cathedral that dates to 1832.

"This Old Cathedral and the Old Courthouse as it's called now were both symbols of the stability of justice and faith to be with the folks who moved West," says Quirk.

But moving around downtown isn't easy these days. Construction on the CityArchRiver Project has parts of downtown and the Arch grounds all askew.

This was especially true for arriving road trippers like three seminarians from St. Paul, Minnesota.

"We spent awhile driving just to try and get to the Arch because of all the road work and the map wasn't right," says Austin Barnes.

"It's got a weird sprawl to it but it all works," says Clayton Forner. "You've got this neat homey downtown feel and then you have these real big modern buildings which are kind of neat."

The Old Cathedral dates back to the city's founding in 1764 on a parcel of land called the church block.

The last major restoration of this building happened in 1890 and the most recent was a cosmetic renovation in 1959.

"Just so happens at the same time that was going on it was the polishing up of the last bit of the Arch grounds that opened in 1968," says Quirk. "So it's fascinating that we're on the same parallel again."

Who knows, with an invigorated Arch grounds and new steeple, you might just bring more people to downtown.

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