Notre Dame Marks Basilica’s 125th Anniversary


All throughout the building, the meeting of old history and new renovation is visible. Zack said the structure comes with exactly the type of repairs you would expect of a 125-plus-year-old building.

“You get cracks in the walls or chips in the paint,” he said of his duties. “You get normal wear and tear (to repair) of a building this old.”

Zack said his favorite part of campus is the Log Chapel, the replica structure that stands at the exact spot where Sorin and his fellow travelers arrived in 1842.

“That’s where the whole university began,” Zack said. “That place just has an air about it.”

The Basilica’s style of architecture and decoration is very much in Sorin’s traditional taste, Rocca explained.

“Father Sorin was very progressive, especially in his educational theory. To him, it was very important that we help people grow as individuals; that they grow spiritually, socially and emotionally,” Rocca said. “That said, he was very traditional in his tastes.”

A “Francophile,” according to Rocca, Sorin used quite a few French artisans in the design of the Basilica, from the main altar to the stained glass.

In fact, the stained glass might well be the largest collection of 19th-century French stained glass in the world, Rocca said. With 44 large windows featuring 114 life-size and 106 smaller images, the stained-glass collection was designed by Frenchman Eugene Hucher, who was director of a stained-glass window foundry overseen by a convent of Carmelite sisters.

Hucher described his stained-glass work for the building as “decoratif et instructif” — decorative and instructive, for non-French speakers — to both function as a beautiful view and a teaching tool, Rocca said.

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Posted by on Sep 3rd, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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