The delicate lacework provided by the scaffolding around St Mary's Church feels quite appropriate in a number of ways.
First, the texture relates to the refined tracery of the historic Gothic cathedrals of Europe, where stone was honed down to very fine dimensions. Such determined commitment to one building over many decades was all aimed at providing depth of detail – shadow and light – to the exterior. In turn the interior treatment was aimed at achieving a subtlety and presence seemingly beyond mere mortals.
A second sense of satisfaction in seeing the scaffolding erected this week has been the evident commitment by the church authorities to restore the exterior. Climbing to the topmost platforms shown here to repair the finials on the gable ends, will surely convey a sense of pride to those special tradesmen involved.
An architectural term for today: fleche – the narrow spire located on the ridge line.
St Mary's stands as an important element in the CBD – since the demolition of the Hydro Grand Hotel it is now the most photographed building in town. With the renovation of the interior of Chalmers Church, and the fairly recent restoration of the Roman Catholic basilica, 3 landmark buildings have each been given a new life - to the benefit of the wider community and to visitors.
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