Cutters, Carvers and the Cathedral

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For more than 100 years, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine has been under construction. Workers from all over the world have contributed their abilities & labor & time, decade after decade. And although the cathedral is still unfinished, services are held there, festivals are celebrated, & the helpless & homeless are fed, clothed, & befriended within its walls. This full-color book, for juvenile readers, follows the awesome process of building the stonework of the Cathedral — from the ...
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Overview

For more than 100 years, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine has been under construction. Workers from all over the world have contributed their abilities & labor & time, decade after decade. And although the cathedral is still unfinished, services are held there, festivals are celebrated, & the helpless & homeless are fed, clothed, & befriended within its walls. This full-color book, for juvenile readers, follows the awesome process of building the stonework of the Cathedral — from the quarrying of the limestone hundreds of miles away, to the cutting of the 11 ton stone blocks, to the creation of the magnificent carvings to adorn it.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Elizabeth Bagg
With clear color photographs and straightforward language this book tells the story of the stone work in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. From quarry to finished gargoyle, the author goes step-by-step through the preparation of the stone. Although this book describes modern techniques, it would apply to the construction of any stone cathedral. It does not focus on the historical, medieval methods as does the more detailed Cathedral: The Story of Construction by David Macaulay.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Despite the intriguing gargoyle on the cover and the word ``cathedral'' in the title, this is not a book about gothic architecture or about churches. It is about construction. In clear, full-color photographs, Ancona focuses on workers in stone, from the skilled cutters in Indiana who quarry the great blocks of limestone to the masons and carvers who work on the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Through a neighborhood apprentice program young men and women from Africa and Latin America, Asia and Europe work under the direction of master carvers and masons on the still-unfinished cathedral. The slim text ends with the information that the building project has been halted due to lack of funding. Since there is no information on the church itself, or on the history of cathedral architecture, this book remains essentially a story of a model training program that no longer exists, a handsomely photographed tribute to a brief experiment in multicultural cooperation.-Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Carolyn Phelan
Clear, full-color photographs illustrate recent stonework on New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which has been under construction for more than 100 years. Ancona follows the stone from its quarry in Indiana, where workmen drill, blast, hammer, and wedge the limestone out of the earth, to the workshop by the cathedral. There, master masons and carvers teach apprentices from the neighborhood and around the world how to shape, assemble, and carve the stone with tools as modern as the pneumatic drill and as ancient as a mallet and chisel. One of the last paragraphs notes that "Construction on the cathedral has stopped for lack of funding," a bit of a jolt since the text is in present tense until that point. Regardless of the current status of work at St. John the Divine, Ancona gives children a visually appealing introduction to the kinds of stone construction and carving used in building a cathedral. Glossary appended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688120573
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 10.19 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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