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St. Patrick's Window Graffiti As Social History of NYC Firefighters

City Room has some intel on the hidden eaves of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Neo-Gothic cathedral completed in 1878 by James Renwick, Jr. Since the cathedral took 20 years to build, not 200, it's not terribly surprising that the vaulted arches are not masonry but "an artifice of lumber and plaster." Firefighters, who inspect the space on the regular, call the "forest of wooden trusses and beams" in the peaked attic space "the lumberyard." Those firefighters, some of whom died on September 11, 2001, join Jimmy Hoffa and other more anonymous scribblers dating back to the 19th century. The grime-covered windows on the north and south towers on the western facade have a standing no-cleaning order at the diocese and cannot be seen from the street—making them, perhaps, the city's most under-the-radar memorial to social history.
· Firefighters’ Names Endure in St. Patrick’s Towers [City Room]