A big loser in the fire is Cardinal John Cody. As part of the renovations his massive wooden crest, mounted in 1968, was taken down because it was basically pulling the entire structure down with it. Then, in this morning’s fire his hat got all wet. All five big red cardinals' hats, or galeros, suspended from the ceiling, were soaked. Each hat commemorated a dead cardinal.
The Holy Name Cathedral was built in 1875 after the Cathedral of Saint Mary and the Church of the Holy Name were both destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire in October 1871. Today’s fire damage follows severe flood damage to another Chicago-area landmark building, the Mies van der Rohe-designed Farnsworth House last month when a freak warm spell melted a foot of snow. (My basement flooded, too.)
One more word about the photograph above, from the Tribune’s coverage of the cathedral fire. It’s three degrees Fahrenheit as I write, and if the wind was blowing anything like it was yesterday afternoon when I happened to be walking by Holy Name Cathedral, it’s bitter, bitter cold.