Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Every Brick Must Be Scrubbed Spotless

The big stony erection on the edge of my alma mater's campus is going to be getting a bath.

Pitt trustees today authorized a $4.8 million project starting next month to clean and restore the building, including cracked stones and loose or missing mortar in hundreds of locations. A special pool within Pitt's $2 billion "Discover a World of Possibilities" campaign will be designated to support the work.
I'm rather glad to read about this. If any building on that campus is worth preserving, it's the Cathedral of Learning. Just try not to think too hard about the possible locations of the "cracked stones and loose or missing mortar". Best to just keep an eye in the sky.

According to the caption below the photo that accompanies the article:
Decades of soot and other elements have darkened and eroded the Cathedral of Learning's Indiana limestone exterior.
That puzzles me. I could have sworn that the building was scrubbed clean within the last twenty years. It was a very dark shade of gray, almost black, when I first enrolled in 1985. There was a major cleaning project that restored nearly the entire exterior to a nice stony light gray by the early 1990s. How many decades are they talking about?

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