This 90-year-old man is building a cathedral by himself, by hand


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/18/this-90-year-old-man-is-buildi.html


#NeedsMoreLikes (formerly known as "All the Likes")
#2

I admire such determination in one’s work, it’s inspiring.


#3

They called him crazy when he started?

Well, he IS crazy. But his craziness has made him awesome.


#4

That is very cool. I’ve always dreamt of building a home for myself in a similar style.

What would be equally cool is if some nice civil engineers would stop by and help out, so that the man’s cathedral won’t fall down at some point and be lost.


#5

Good for him, that he’s doing this without involuntary payment or labor.

Like many I have felt the awe and admired the design and construction in large gothic cathedrals of Europe, but as I’ve gotten older these thoughts please me less and less knowing the resources that were wasted on these vainglorious projects at a time when average humans had very little in the way of resources.


#6

Very beautiful. I wonder if he was inspired by Ferdinand Cheval who began his Le Palais Idéal in 1879.


#7

That’s some serious determination.


#8

A guy in Colorado is building a castle as well: http://www.bishopcastle.org/


#9

Historically, a high percentage, probably the majority, of people who designed and built cathedrals did not live to see them completed.


#10

Good thing he wasn’t inspired by The Orange Show.


#11

It’s been tried already.


#12

Medieval cathedrals were built by the people, for the people, as an expression of civic pride and of faith. Calling them a vainglorious misallocation of resources is to completely misunderstand the meaning and purpose of these buildings to the people who built them.


#13

Presumably it’s not actually a cathedral, which is the site of a bishop’s throne (“cathedra” being latin for throne).

But I do like that he made it.


#14

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City was started in 1892 and still isn’t finished, partly because they’re using traditional stonecarving techniques.


#15

A house without walls or floors or a roof isn’t a house, but the activity is called “building a house” as soon as construction is started.


#16


#17

I would actually be curious to know more about the economics behind these things, so feel free to school me or point me in the right direction. I only did maybe 10 minutes of internet research because I was curious if slave labor was used, and while I didn’t find anybody that suggested that, I did get the impression it was paid for with taxes or equivalent labor that was not necessarily voluntary. That’s money and labor that could have been used to actually improve their own circumstances instead of building something that inspired people to continue to enrich the church.


#18

Maybe having a population brought together in an impressive church strengthens social bonds and makes the people more likely to resist invaders. The more impressive it is the better; who wants to die in the service of some rickety shack? Their church must be the one God lives in, or He wouldn’t have blessed it with such magnificence.


#19

And after all, the Crown and the Faith are the twin pillars upon which the world rests.


#20

I looked at a whole bunch of churches in Spain, Portugal, and France, but the Sagrada Familia was something else. It’s like Gaudi was on acid.