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All Clean!

Some scaffolding's coming down at St. Patrick's Cathedral. The first phase of a three-year, $170 million restoration has revived the iconic 1879-built church's facade, now partially unveiled, from dingy brown to creamy white. Square inch by square inch, it was painstakingly cleaned with a gentle, sand-based solution "so soft that... you could use it on skin." While the 80-foot spires are uncovered, the rest of the church will stay shrouded till 2015 as work continues to fix up the sanctuary, pews, and a couple hundred panels of stained glass, as well as install a new fire-safety system. [WSJ; photo via Scoboco/Flickr]