Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sundial Cathedral

I have the pleasure of working one block from the campanile of the Cathedral Santuario. It is beautiful in all moments of the day--a splendor standing 224 feet. In the morning, against backdrop of blushing clouds it stands as a proud beacon of the Dallas Arts District. Recently I watched people working in the tower--I assume they were fiddling with the intricacies of operating 49 bells. It was so entertaining to watch the workers walking, in animated silhouettes, up and down the staircases almost in miniature.

Now, in a setting sun graced by long shadows, it stands as a sundial--the place my heart rests throughout the day amid the challenges of a busy museum. At night, as the bells toll on each hour, one can see the silhouette of their large bronze shapes swinging back and forth in concert and rhythm with each sound they make. Over a hundred years ago Nicholas J. Clayton visioned this experience. However, due to lack of funding the church never completed the bell tower. Thanks to the generosity of a group of parishioners and Arts District friends and beyond, the bell tower was completed a few years ago: finally fulfilling the architect's original plan. I'm sure architects are used to the disappointment of not completing a project to their complete design, but I hope somewhere he knows his work at the Cathedral was, in fact, finished.

After officing in 5 different locations at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, this window onto the Arts District is my favorite. I hope there's a bell (that you like) in your neighborhood.

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