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Cathedral Of The Holy Cross Undergoes First Renovation In 150 Years

BOSTON (CBS) - After 150 years the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is getting much needed repairs, and a shift into the 21st century.

The church, one of Boston's most historic, and interesting religious landmarks, is in the midst of a major renovation.

Cathedral of the Holy Cross
Cathedral of the Holy Cross (WBZ-TV).

Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, says there is a lot of work "really transforming it and preserving it for the future."

The Archbishop says great care is being taken in preserving the history and sacredness of the church, because it is more than a house of worship.

"Wonderful working class immigrants made many sacrifices to put up this beautiful temple, and now it is our turn to make sure that it is preserved for future generations," says O'Malley.

The firms involved in the renovation are taking special care to maintain the integrity of the building. David Manfredi, CEO of Elkus Manfredi Architects says "whenever we had the choice, we respected the history of the place. It's a very special building."

Both Manfredi and John Fish, Chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction, took the responsibility of the project very seriously.

Fish sees the renovation as an "opportunity to celebrate the future of the Catholic Church and to celebrate the future of the neighborhood and talk about the opportunity going forward."

Over the course of the renovation, the pews will be restored and refinished, a new altar will be built and stone will replace the oak floors.

Sprinklers will be installed, the electrical system will be overhauled and the cathedral will be newly equipped with air conditioning.

Cathedral of the Holy Cross renovations
Cathedral of the Holy Cross interior renovations (WBZ-TV).

"It's going to be a bright place," Manfredi says.

The walls will be restored and covered in a bright finish, accented with gold trim that will help reflect the new lighting. At night the church will be a beacon to the community with the stained glass illuminated from the inside.

From start to finish the entire project is serving as an act of service for both Fish and Manfredi.

"It's one of the type of projects you work on and it is probably the most important thing you have ever done in your life," says Fish.

They anticipate the community and church-goers will feel the same way. "I think that they are going to say wow, that this is, something wonderful has happened here," says Manfredi.

The cardinal is hoping to unveil the renovations next Easter.

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