PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In an Eyewitness News exclusive, an iconic church will get a long-overdue makeover. It is the church that is home to one million Catholics in the region.
CBS3’s Joe Holden got an exclusive tour of the plans for the holy monument in Philadelphia.
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The stunning interior of the Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia has stood up to thousands of masses and services for over a century and a half.
But up close, the paint is tired and worn.
“The most serious problem is that it is an old paint job. And so throughout the basilica the paint is peeling,” said Fr Dennis Gill, rector of the cathedral.
He estimates that a complete restoration with new paint on all surfaces of the cathedral will cost at least $1 million.
“A big part of the expense will be the scaffolding which will have to go up and down depending on what time of year the painting takes place,” Father Gill said.
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Professional painters will tackle virtually everything from opulent moldings and capitals to walls that span dozens and dozens of feet.
We fired up Drone Watch 3 to get a sense of the scale of sacred space.
The paint job will be an impressive undertaking, giving a new look to the earth-toned walls that currently incorporate dozens of contrasting shades.
“I don’t get a lot of complaints about the paint at all. People come in and say, ‘Father, this is beautiful,’” Fr Gill said.
The project is expected to last a year. With a very busy schedule at the cathedral, the painters will have to get creative with their scaffolding.
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The cathedral is accept donations to help offset the cost of the paint job.