Historic Chicago Cathedral to Reopen after Fire

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An historic church in Chicago will soon hold weekend services again after nearly being destroyed by a fire in February.

The sanctuary of the Holy Name Cathedral was severely damaged in the fire that left gaping holes in the roof and severely damaged the attic.

Most of the restoration is now complete, and all of the church's 23,000 wood ceiling tiles have been polished and the gold leaf re-guilded.

Firefighters fought the flames for hours before putting the blaze out, leaving the 135-year-old building with severe water damage.

"On the cast-iron columns behind the marble, we were draining 50 gallons of water out of either side of those," Archdiocese Director of Construction Greg Veith told Chicago reporters. "And our fear was that they would rust from the inside and we'd never know it."
Hundreds of pews are also being re-installed after undergoing a refinishing process.

Investigators have yet to find the cause of the fire, though insurance is expected to cover most of the $6 million repair bill.
This is the same church that was re-built after the Great Chicago Fire destroyed old Holy Name Church in 1871.

Services are scheduled to begin again on Aug. 1.

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