Standing in the nave of the Cathedral, Alonso, the head stonemason, watches as crews begin attaching the nets to the 100-foot vaulted ceiling. He jingles the chips in his hand ”” the same hands that 20 years ago helped put the final touches on the gothic-style cathedral.
“It’s heartbreaking to me, because I know what went into building this building. When I look at a piece of stone, I can tell you what that stone went through, from [when] it was designed by the architect, sculpted, carved [and] laid in place by the stonemason,” Alonso says. “This is a handmade building.”
Construction on the Episcopal cathedral began in 1907, after Congress granted a charter, and it took 83 years to finish.