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Old 04-16-2019, 01:43 AM
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Ken Follett was on the BBC, and of course he has written long novels on cathedral construction. From what I understood, the roofs are made of wood and when they burn they collapse, creating a huge amount of flammable debris everywhere.
The roofs and pretty much every movable item; that includes the majority of the art, the pews, confession booths, chorus, walkways…




And stuff such as fire-suppression systems are being added to old monuments. Sometimes. Slowly. You can't just stick a few sprinklers up in the ceiling: for starters, the ceiling is really high up. Old, historic buildings don't magically grow toilets and smoke detectors when those become the norm. Note also that this isn't the first time a restoration ends up causing irreparable damage: for example, Ken Follett's cathedrals books were inspired by the Old Cathedral in Vitoria, which is currently inaccesible except as an archeological site due in part to misguided restoration during the 19th century.





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I think I understand about the rose windows. They weren't talking about the glass, but the structure or the frame that the glass is set into.
That's often lead. The windows can be rebuilt or new ones put in place (it was done throughout a lot of Europe after the wars of the 20th century): which option is taken isn't so much a matter of feasability as of deciding what do you want to do, erase the damage as much as possible or have the new windows precisely as a mark of remembrance.
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  #152  
Old 04-16-2019, 02:09 AM
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As usual in any disaster, the Daily Mail has the best photos by far. It may be a right-wing tabloid, but they certainly understand visual coverage of a disaster.

Inside the cathedral and first photos this morning.

It looks like a lot of the stone ceiling survived, so the damage to the interior isn't as bad as it could have been.

The wooden roof, which burned so quickly, covers a stone vault over the interior. The photos show that sections of the stone vault fell, but there is still a lot intact, which protected a lot of the interior. In fact stone vaults were introduced as a fire-safety measure in the original medieval construction.

See
How Catastrophic Is the Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire?

tl;dr It may not be as bad as it looked at first.

Last edited by GreenWyvern; 04-16-2019 at 02:12 AM.
  #153  
Old 04-16-2019, 02:19 AM
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Still looks like there's glass in the North Rose Window...
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:33 AM
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Have they said why there wasn't a fire suppression system in place? Dry chemicals might have been an option instead of water in areas with valuable artifacts.

Isn't that part of building code in most modern countries?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_suppression_system
I think the fact that the cathedral was built between 1163 and 1345 has a lot to do a lack of "fire suppression system". The technology didn't exist yet, and certainly wasn't a building code requirement at the time. Like a lot of old buildings, I suspect it was "grandfathered" when the new requirements were written.

I also expect that modern fire systems will be incorporated into the rebuilding, rather like when London recreated the Globe Theater they installed modern fire suppression tech, from using fire retardant on the thatch itself to a sprinkler system on top of the roof.

Last edited by Broomstick; 04-16-2019 at 05:34 AM.
  #155  
Old 04-16-2019, 05:40 AM
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Still looks like there's glass in the North Rose Window...
Or possibly the South, I can't tell which side that's taken from.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:42 AM
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The wooden roof, which burned so quickly, covers a stone vault over the interior. The photos show that sections of the stone vault fell, but there is still a lot intact, which protected a lot of the interior. In fact stone vaults were introduced as a fire-safety measure in the original medieval construction.
Here's a 3D diagram of the cathedral showing the stone vault.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:44 AM
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Possibly both the north and south windows have survived, but reports seem to be conflicting. There are also reports that the great organ is intact, but has possibly suffered water damage.

Here's a professional video of the last Vespers service in the cathedral before the fire:

Vêpres du 15 avril 2019 à Notre-Dame de Paris

It was recorded yesterday evening, shortly before the fire broke out.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:00 AM
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Or possibly the South, I can't tell which side that's taken from.
It's the south side.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:13 AM
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Still looks like there's glass in the North Rose Window...
Oh, hurray! I've always loved pictures of that window, and I'm so glad it survived.

NB: When I was talking about the frames, I meant the stonework separating the sections where glass was set.)
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:15 AM
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Possibly both the north and south windows have survived, but reports seem to be conflicting.
It's clear some windows were completely destroyed, but the status of the largest Rose Windows is unclear. The West Rose is intact. The other two, based on pictures this morning, are at least partially intact. I expect they have all suffered from soot and cleaning them is going to be a tedious bitch.

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There are also reports that the great organ is intact, but has possibly suffered water damage.
Yeah, smoke and water is bad for musical instruments.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:20 AM
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Can't believe anyone could be spending so much time arguing about the wisdom of a water drop just to prove that Dear Leader is infallible. The material properties of many of the structural elements and how they would react to the weight of the water is somewhat iffy. I happen to think the French authorities made the right call, but then again I'm not trying to prove Dear Leader infallible either.

Building saved, relics mostly saved, money pouring in for the reconstruction. Hats off to the firemen who faced an enormous task and pulled it off.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:22 AM
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I'm surprised all that metal scaffolding didn't melt into a big puddle.

Not that scaffolding matters. It's just an indication how hot the fire got before it was extinguished.
https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/04...5396950480.jpg

Last edited by aceplace57; 04-16-2019 at 07:25 AM.
  #163  
Old 04-16-2019, 08:18 AM
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Fortunately, buildings aren't that flammable in this part of the world. Very little wooden construction, you see.
Old building and electrification are uncomfortable bed fellows. Add drapes, books, furniture and kerosene lamps and voila!
For instance. (Lucky here).

https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/paki...-ghazi-shrine/
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:19 AM
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Can't believe anyone could be spending so much time arguing about the wisdom of a water drop just to prove that Dear Leader is infallible. The material properties of many of the structural elements and how they would react to the weight of the water is somewhat iffy. I happen to think the French authorities made the right call, but then again I'm not trying to prove Dear Leader infallible either.

Building saved, relics mostly saved, money pouring in for the reconstruction. Hats off to the firemen who faced an enormous task and pulled it off.
Yeah, you have to be spectacularly arrogant and ignorant to assume that you know better how to fight a fire from another continent than the professionals on the ground. Do you remember on 9-11 all the kind words from Europeans to us? Just once, I wish Americans were like that.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:26 AM
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I just read on French newspapers that all three Rose Windows are safe.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:28 AM
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This is such devastating news. I hope they can rebuild, but it will never be the same.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:38 AM
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Yeah, you have to be spectacularly arrogant and ignorant to assume that you know better how to fight a fire from another continent than the professionals on the ground. Do you remember on 9-11 all the kind words from Europeans to us? Just once, I wish Americans were like that.
Yeah, I can't imagine Queen Elizabeth sitting on her toilet and tweeting: "Must bring in helicopters to evacuate WTC. Americans must act quickly. SAD!"
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:42 AM
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What terrible, terrible news. I visited Notre Dame only once, in the fall of 1985, when I was in Paris to see a college friend studying at the Sorbonne. I still remember it well. The cathedral was then, and will be again, a historic, impressive and holy place.

There have already been generous pledges of money to fund its restoration: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/16/busin...ion/index.html
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:46 AM
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Yeah, you have to be spectacularly arrogant and ignorant to assume that you know better how to fight a fire from another continent than the professionals on the ground. Do you remember on 9-11 all the kind words from Europeans to us? Just once, I wish Americans were like that.
Americans are like that. Have you been reading this thread or been on social media at all? I sure that there was at least one European who was making silly statements like Magiver. One dumbass statement that I heard some guy trying to make a moral equivalence between a terrorist attack that intentionally killed thousands and a presumably accidental fire that ruined a great work of art where one person was injured.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:49 AM
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French corporations and French billionaires have already pledged over €600 million for rebuilding.

The Foundation for French Heritage has collected over €3.3 million from individuals so far today.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:01 AM
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You think Pope Francis will support a Church lead rebuilding fund?

Catholics worldwide would only need to make a small individual contribution.

Although this is a terrible architectural loss for everyone.

Last edited by aceplace57; 04-16-2019 at 09:04 AM.
  #172  
Old 04-16-2019, 09:06 AM
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My neighbors are French and devout Catholic. I spent a few minutes talking to the mom today at our kids' bus stop. I told her that I'd only visited Notre Dame once, but I was heartbroken by the news. We talked a little about how culturally and historically significant it is. She said that a wealthy French guy who owns a massive forest had pledged the use of lumber from the forest to rebuild the cathedral. I haven't had a chance to look up the details on that yet, though. She also mentioned that the relics of St. Louis had been saved.
  #173  
Old 04-16-2019, 09:09 AM
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You think Pope Francis will support a Church lead rebuilding fund?

Catholics worldwide would only need to make a small individual contribution.

Although this is a terrible architectural loss for everyone.
Hundreds of millions of euro have already been raised.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:18 AM
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Because you can calculate mass times velocity. At some point in altitude the water is coming down like rain as it disperses.

But if you're worried about the load on the walls consider that the flying buttresses are designed to counter the weight above that is pushing the walls out. All of the roof and part of ceiling is now on the floor yet the counter force of the buttresses are still in place.
Your king Donald Trump was wrong, and you are wrong. Just accept it, for God's sake.

Professional firefighters chose not to do this, and that's because they know what they're doing, and in this area, you absolutely do not. People with decades of experience decided water bombing was not a good idea. They are right, and you are wrong. It is not always necessary to defend your leader.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:24 AM
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But if they had just acted quickly...
  #176  
Old 04-16-2019, 09:28 AM
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Your king Donald Trump was wrong, and you are wrong. Just accept it, for God's sake.

Professional firefighters chose not to do this, and that's because they know what they're doing, and in this area, you absolutely do not. People with decades of experience decided water bombing was not a good idea. They are right, and you are wrong. It is not always necessary to defend your leader.
You shouldn't be too tough on Magiver. He's said many times that he works at an airport, which is a profession that is completely interchangeable with being a firefighter specializing in extinguishing blazes in 12th century historic buildings using airplanes.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:47 AM
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This is such devastating news. I hope they can rebuild, but it will never be the same.
Nothing can last forever. It is a tragedy to lose what was there, but I am certain that whatever they build, it will also be beautiful and people will be able to enjoy it *fingers crossed* for another 900 years.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:50 AM
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Very happy to know that stained glasses, and in particular the main front one have survived, contrarily to what was said last night. That's probably the most important thing that coud have been destroyed (although I might be biased, I'm particularly fond of stained glasses). It's sad that the ancient carpentry was destroyed, and presumably some more minor artwork have disappeared too, but all in all it isn't that bad from my point of view. Even the historical organ seems to be mostly safe.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:53 AM
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Al Aqsa mosque also burnt today. Wondering if that gives you the same shivers.
Doubt it,
It does. I mourn the loss of such beauty regardless of the religious aspect of the structure.
  #180  
Old 04-16-2019, 10:11 AM
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Because you can calculate mass times velocity. At some point in altitude the water is coming down like rain as it disperses.

But if you're worried about the load on the walls consider that the flying buttresses are designed to counter the weight above that is pushing the walls out. All of the roof and part of ceiling is now on the floor yet the counter force of the buttresses are still in place.
Drop the water from up high & it disburses; drop the water from down low & you have a different issue, which you, as a pilot should be aware of. What buildings, antennas, spans (spires) are low & potentially in the path of a plane flying low enough to drop water? Before it's collapse, the spire was 300' high. Any plane flying in before it's collapse would need to be over 300' high (+ margin of safety) which means that water is coming from hundreds of feet up & can both disburse somewhat (rendering it useless towards firefighting) & have time to gain terminal velocity for what does come down. Enough coming down on the structure might just be enough to cave the roof/destroy a wall/buttress.

Have you ever been on the fireground of a large, multi-alarm fire? There are dozens & in this case hundreds of firefighters. Between wearing all that gear, breathing thru SCBA, the physical exertion & working in extremely hot conditions it's exhausting. It's not like TV or movies, there are rules as to how long one can work without a break; one or two tanks & you're required to sit out for a bit, maybe have vitals taken before the commanders would consider letting you go back in. Many of the firefighters are not doing anything to actively fight the fire at any given moment. They are either the ones recuperating or the relief waiting to go in, kind of like a relay race. They are all in close proximity to the burning structure. You do realize what a couple hundred kilos of water would do to them if it suddenly landed on them?

Finally, how do you propose filling up your tanker airplanes? Will they just fly under the bridges in the River Seine?


On first thought, 'use tankers' isn't such an outlandish thought but when you take a second to stop & consider it it doesn't work for many reasons. You've been explained these reasons & just double & triple down on it.
Planes would be a spectacularly bad idea; helicopters, if available, would be marginally better but still have many of the same/similar issues.
  #181  
Old 04-16-2019, 10:29 AM
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Your king Donald Trump was wrong, and you are wrong. Just accept it, for God's sake.

Professional firefighters chose not to do this, and that's because they know what they're doing, and in this area, you absolutely do not. People with decades of experience decided water bombing was not a good idea. They are right, and you are wrong. It is not always necessary to defend your leader.
Out of curiosity, I asked a firefighter today if aerial tankers could be used. He said that it would be a helicopter with a bucket rather than a water bomber and while it could be useful, he would not have used it in the circumstances at Norte Dame, unless it was literally the only thing he could do.
  #182  
Old 04-16-2019, 10:55 AM
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Very happy to know that stained glasses, and in particular the main front one have survived, contrarily to what was said last night. That's probably the most important thing that coud have been destroyed (although I might be biased, I'm particularly fond of stained glasses). It's sad that the ancient carpentry was destroyed, and presumably some more minor artwork have disappeared too, but all in all it isn't that bad from my point of view. Even the historical organ seems to be mostly safe.
A friend of mine posted a photo of the Rose Window intact this morning, and I was happy to see that.

When I was last in Paris a couple of years ago, I considered going into the cathedral, but skipped it since I'd just been to Chartres the day before and it's too easy to get cathedral'd out. I'm sorry now that I didn't.
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  #183  
Old 04-16-2019, 11:31 AM
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Out of curiosity, I asked a firefighter today if aerial tankers could be used. He said that it would be a helicopter with a bucket rather than a water bomber and while it could be useful, he would not have used it in the circumstances at Norte Dame, unless it was literally the only thing he could do.
I wouldn't want to put that responsibility on any firefighters. It's not lot you could say oops, If the walls collapsed. The entire world would be pissed off.

The fire damage is bad but at least the walls are standing.

Last edited by aceplace57; 04-16-2019 at 11:33 AM.
  #184  
Old 04-16-2019, 11:44 AM
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And The Entire Fucking Cathedral Burning Down. See, e.g., this nighttime drone picture from the fire. https://media.apnarm.net.au/media/im..._ct460x258.jpg
When I first saw that picture yesterday, my first reaction was "Oh shit, it's burned to a hollowed out shell." Then I saw the photos from the interior showing much of the vaulting intact (and a lot of wooden seats unburnt) I went back to that photo and realized what is was clearly showing is the burning remains of the roof resting on top of the vaulting: the roof had burnt down to the vaulting, not to the ground.

Regarding using a "water bomber": the vaulting apparently protected much of the interior of the church, including the rose windows. Dumping tons of water in one go could very well have caved in the vaulting. In any case, there was no way to get water onto the fire (water bomber, hoses) until the lead roof had melted/burned away enough to expose the fire to the open air.

The key right now (once structural assessments are done and any emergency remediation in place) is to get a temporary roof on the place to protect from further water damage. Eventually replace the roof with one built with modern materials - I see no reason to rebuild it exactly as it was done originally (the "forest of wood" that comprised the structure of the roof was functional, not decorative). The Cologne cathedral was started in the Gothic period but the roof was not completed until the 19th century; the builders used modern iron framework rather than the wood framework called for in the original design.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:12 PM
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This is such devastating news. I hope they can rebuild, but it will never be the same.
In many ways it was already "never the same".

A building that old in continuous use is not going to be all original parts. Something like 20% of the original stained glass had been replaced over time. All but one of the bells was relatively recently recast. The current electrical lights were certainly not in the original plans. The spire that fell only dates from the 19th Century.

Normally these repairs, replacements and changes take place slowly over time. If plans move forward to restore the cathedral it is, in a way, more of the same but highly compressed in time.

Change is the only constant, as they say.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:53 PM
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Al Aqsa mosque also burnt today. Wondering if that gives you the same shivers.
Doubt it,
I did have to look that one up. That fire was small, contained, did little damage, and was known to be started by kids playing. I don't shiver at false equivalences.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:57 PM
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In many ways it was already "never the same".
All true, and that gives the restorers permission of sorts to make the building safer and more durable. There doesn't have to be structural wood anymore in areas worshippers and tourists don't see, including in the new spire, and there can be sprinklers placed inobtrusively elsewhere, for instance.

Yeah, at what point in its history should the ever-changing building be restored to? The 1200's, the Revolution, last week?
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:03 PM
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For those who'd like to donate to the restoration; I've already written a check: https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/20...thedral-paris/
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:13 PM
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From the Guardian:

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Notre Dame Cathedral was within “15 to 30 minutes” of complete destruction as firefighters battled to stop flames reaching its gothic bell towers, French authorities revealed on Tuesday.

The disaster was averted by members of the Paris fire brigade who risked their lives to remain inside the burning monument to create a wall of water between the raging fire and two towers on the west facade.
...

If the wooden frame of the towers had caught fire it could have sent the bells – the largest of which, the Emmanuel Bell, weighs 13 tonnes – crashing down, potentially causing the collapse of both gothic towers.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:49 PM
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You shouldn't be too tough on Magiver. He's said many times that he works at an airport, which is a profession that is completely interchangeable with being a firefighter specializing in extinguishing blazes in 12th century historic buildings using airplanes.
In large metropolitan areas.
  #191  
Old 04-16-2019, 01:50 PM
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Eventually replace the roof with one built with modern materials - I see no reason to rebuild it exactly as it was done originally (the "forest of wood" that comprised the structure of the roof was functional, not decorative). The Cologne cathedral was started in the Gothic period but the roof was not completed until the 19th century; the builders used modern iron framework rather than the wood framework called for in the original design.
An even more apposite comparison would be Chartres Cathedral, which suffered a similar fire in 1836. Its inner roof structure was replaced in metal. That's now considered historically significant in its own right.

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Yeah, at what point in its history should the ever-changing building be restored to? The 1200's, the Revolution, last week?
That's going to be an interesting argument. While in this particular case Viollet-le-Duc actually wasn't quite as interventionist as is sometimes assumed, there is a serious case for saying that his version of Notre-Dame is the only one with which any of us is familiar. Yet is that version 'authentic', either in our terms or, more paradoxically, even in his terms? Should his changes now be undone because we possibly know better? Isn't that precisely what he would do in the present situation? But might not his inauthentic authenticity now feel more authentic because that's what we know has been lost? The arguments over this will run and run.
  #192  
Old 04-16-2019, 02:09 PM
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NB: When I was talking about the frames, I meant the stonework separating the sections where glass was set.)
The term you want is "tracery"
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:10 PM
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There are also reports that the great organ is intact
How did they know?!
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:36 PM
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Debate about 'authenticity' doesn't make much sense.

This is not a building that ever was, or ever was intended to be, frozen in time. It's not a museum. It's not an art gallery. It's a living, changing building in a living, changing tradition, and it always has been. It's used for church services every day, and that's its primary function. Everything else is secondary. It's not there to be a tourist attraction or a museum.

That why, although Notre Dame was chronically short of funds for restoration for years, they wouldn't charge an entrance fee to the 12-13 million visitors each year. It's a church, and you don't charge entrance fees to a church. End of story.

The best way to see the building is not as a tourist attraction, or as a monument to architectural history, but performing its true function - as in the video of vespers I posted earlier. An ordinary quiet Monday evening, after all the tourists have been shooed out... and ending only half an hour before the fire started.
  #195  
Old 04-16-2019, 03:25 PM
Ludovic is online now
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
How did they know?!
It isn't a Jewish organ?
  #196  
Old 04-16-2019, 04:31 PM
Morgyn is online now
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
The term you want is "tracery"
Thank you!
  #197  
Old 04-16-2019, 04:36 PM
Magiver is offline
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Can't believe anyone could be spending so much time arguing about the wisdom of a water drop just to prove that Dear Leader is infallible. The material properties of many of the structural elements and how they would react to the weight of the water is somewhat iffy. I happen to think the French authorities made the right call, but then again I'm not trying to prove Dear Leader infallible either.

Building saved, relics mostly saved, money pouring in for the reconstruction. Hats off to the firemen who faced an enormous task and pulled it off.
My opinions are my own. I'm not defending Trump nor did I mention his name. I stated my case with the logic that water planes are very accurate and can change the dispersal pattern with altitude. I also showed clips of their accuracy.

You on the other hand injected politics into it and ran your pie-hole with a rant that doesn't belong in this thread. So, feel free to apologize.

Last edited by Magiver; 04-16-2019 at 04:36 PM.
  #198  
Old 04-16-2019, 05:04 PM
Brayne Ded is offline
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Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Have they said why there wasn't a fire suppression system in place? Dry chemicals might have been an option instead of water in areas with valuable artifacts.

Isn't that part of building code in most modern countries?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_suppression_system
How do you install such a system in an old building with very high ceilings and towers? And without making it look hideous?

No,. I don't know either.
  #199  
Old 04-16-2019, 05:56 PM
Marvin the Martian is online now
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Originally Posted by Brayne Ded View Post
How do you install such a system in an old building with very high ceilings and towers? And without making it look hideous?
In the case of Notre Dame (and presumably many large buildings of similar age and construction) a fire suppression system in the attic is what was needed, along with fireblocking (which would have helped contain the fire to only a section of the roof). Relatively little is flammable inside the cathedral below the vaulting - seating, confessionals, pulpits, choir stalls. Such fire suppression wouldn't even be visible unless you went into the attic. Certainly whatever replacement roof is built (hopefully not a forest of wood like the old roof, but structural steel) will have such modern systems.
  #200  
Old 04-16-2019, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post


How do you insure an 800-year old building that's larger than a football field and the literally irreplaceable artwork inside.
OK, OK, OK, maybe Lloyd's of London?"

Almost $1 billion has been pledged by donors worldwide to finance the restoration.
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