Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Walking in the neighborhood, St. Mary of the Angels Church

St. Mary of the Angels Church in Bucktown neighborhood, modeled after St. Peter's in Rome.
Fiberglass angels made in the 1990s to replace beautiful, weathered, and allegedly unsafe (since they were crumbling) original terracotta ones.  I wish the originals would have been repaired or remade.  The current ones are sad imitations. No disrespect to the artist who made them.
The scaffolding, seen in the upper righthand corner, hints at the major project going on, which is called "Save the Dome."  Maybe the gentry that moved into the area will contribute.
The parish is attempting to raise millions of dollars towards this effort.
The original 80-some year old terracotta got leaky some 20 years ago and was replaced with some white stuff that looked plasticy. 
 Now it's being clad with what looks like copper.

As part of the big renovation some 20 years ago the stairs on the east/Hermitage side were rebuilt. They used to extend north (where the planted area is now) and south.
They seem scant and less welcoming, especially as some parts of the stairs bounded by railings lead to a dead end/column at the top.

More scaffolding against a gray sky.
The bells used to ring 4 times a day, at 6 am, 12 noon, 6 pm, 12 midnight.
Newer residents protested the late night bells, so now it's down to 3 times a day.

I feel wistful seeing that building as many of the families who attended have moved on.  
The ladies of my mother's generation have sold their houses to pay for nursing homes or they have passed away.  The garbage cans in the alleys become repositories for memories.
Crocheted afgans, canned tomato sauce, needles and thread languish until Streets and Sanitation trucks pick up. Some things come home with me.  An animal print pillow cover, letters shining light on past intrigues, a large Weck jar that used to hold dog food for Rocky 2 now washed, holds rocks and sea shells. The former homes of these ladies pass into memory as well as they are bulldozed, the sites "developed" into cinderblock mansions. 

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