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What might have been...

5993 Views 35 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  bustcapl
Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but there are too many damned threads to look through with a crappy dial-up connection. I happened upon this about a year ago but forgot about it- original plans for the Catholic cathedral that would have been 190ft taller than the Anglican cathedral (520 feet tall)!!!!!!!!!! Check it out.

Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) was commissioned to design a Cathedral to contrast with the Gothic gem of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott which was rising at the other end of Hope Street, where building had started in 1904. The central feature of his design, he decided, was to be a great dome 168 feet (51 meters) in diameter with an internal height of 300 feet (91 meters). The nave and aisles would consist of a series of barrel vaults running at right angles to each other. The High Altar would be twelve feet (4 meters) above the nave floor and a total of 53 altars would line the nave and transept, apses and sacristies. The height from the lowest step of the Western front to the top of the lantern would be a colossal 520 feet (158 meters). (By comparison, the tower of the Anglican Cathedral rises to 330 feet ( 101 meters)).

Inside the West Porch would be the narthex - 'a great space', wrote Lutyens, 'which it is proposed shall be open by day and by night, without let or hindrance, and kept warm - a spiritual sanctuary for those cold and destitute.' He might have added that it would be a link with the purpose of the site in the past. Building of the Crypt went on apace until 1941 when the war years brought the cessation of building, but the fund happily consolidated. In 36 years it had risen to £934,786 of which a little less than half had been expended. After the war the Crypt was completed and remains part of the present Cathedral, a magnificent fragment of what might have been. But the grandiose romanesque super-structure, whose main entrance arch could have contained the nearby University's tower, was now costed at an impossible £27 million. Once again the dream was threatened.
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I think I might have, I know the old basement cafe was very modern, but I seem to remember seeing a small brick chapel in the basement which I think is part of the original design. On the oustide, one side (not the Hope Street one) of the plaza and outside walls look like the foundations of the original, I think......I am beginning to realise its a LONG time since I had a good look around the outside of the cathedral, so maybe someone with better knowledge will be able to say.
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