It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like … Christmas!

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like … Christmas! 1024 683 Cincinnati Cathedral

Admit it. You thought we were going to say, “It’s beginning to look a lot like CONSTRUCTION.” And while significant progress is being made in our sanctuary space at the moment, we assure you that the cathedral will, in fact, provide just the place to gather, pray, and celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ this Christmas season, just as we have done in years past. In fact, construction will be paused from December 19 – January 1, 2019, to accommodate our robust service offerings. Additionally, even though the new nave organ will not make its debut this Christmas season, we are confident that you will very much enjoy the music we have planned for you throughout.

We can, however, agree that sometimes it can be a challenge to visualize how something will look upon completion when all we can view is its current form. Yet work in the nave is indeed coming along, as evidenced by the sculpted diffusive panels that are being added to one row of ceiling coffers on the north and south sides from the chancel and to the west balcony. The purpose of the panels and their basket-weave design is to enhance the clarity of the spoken word and the sound of the music in our space.

In addition to the diffusive panels, wall shaping is underway in the west balcony and front chancel areas. The purpose of the wall shaping, much like the installation of the diffusive panels, is to reduce acoustic flutter. (The scaffolding in the balcony being used to complete this work will be removed prior to Christmas and remain down for the Boar’s Head & Yule Log Festival.) Fun fact: Did you know that sound can become trapped in 90-degree corners? (We didn’t!) Wall shaping prevents that!

In addition to significant acoustical improvements to the walls themselves, efforts are running concurrently to reduce the amount of mechanical noise in the worship space as well. Sometimes the work we don’t see is just as vital as what we do see. All these efforts will make the Word of Our Lord –and our music raised in praise and gratitude-­vibrant in ways previously not possible in our place of worship.

You can also see the progress being made in the north balcony (previously the location of the organ loft), which will be the location of new video control center. While you can see the work being done on it now, the new video stream center in the north gallery won’t be visible when it is complete—it will be in an enclosed room. This control center translates as an increased capability to broadcast and stream our worship and special services out to a larger audience. For this project –– and in support of several others –– significant rewiring and control capability of nave lighting is also underway.

And speaking of lighting, the east wall will have a fresh coat of plaster and offer a smooth surface for Trevor Shibley’s amazing lighting effects that take place during each of the Boar’s Head performances!

Outside of the sanctuary space, but also part of our efforts to improve the cathedral campus, is the Sycamore Commons project. And while temperatures dip ever lower, the work on that space continues. The pavers we have been awaiting are now in Cincinnati, and their installation is expected to begin next week. The living wall feature — currently draped in black cloth — will soon have a photo rendering (actual size) of the finished look of vegetation. Spring will see the installation of live plants, once the temperatures warm up. And the planting areas now hold special lightweight soil, while magnolia trees have been placed at the labyrinth.

On the architectural front, the granite that will form the baptismal font and runnel is in place, and the irrigation and lighting systems are being installed as well.

Even though there is much work happening and much work still to be done, we are looking forward to welcoming you, your family and friends, and our neighbors, into our space to celebrate Christmas. We have extensive services and programming this year that will take place not in spite of the construction efforts, but rather alongside it.

We hope that you will join us in faith and fellowship –– and only trace amounts of construction dust –– this Christmas season. It is a time of renewal, indeed!