A Cathedral Tried to Approach Heaven, but the Earth Held a Deep Secret


At this time, Mr. Patterson mentioned, the sub-crypt flooding is far diminished. Why? His principle facilities on the rise of Enclave — a 430-unit rental advanced that runs the size of West 113th Avenue between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. The dwelling, constructed from 2014 to 2016, set off protests from opponents who mentioned the 15-story advanced obscured avenue views of the cathedral.

With a barely bemused expression, Mr. Patterson argued that Enclave’s basis went down far sufficient to behave as a subterranean barrier that diverted a lot of the underground circulate away from the cathedral. “They solved our downside.”

We left his workplace to take one other take a look at the deep vault. Crucially, Mr. Patterson knew precisely the place electricians had lately put in new mild switches, so we had no want for cellphone lights.

The cathedral’s cavernous subbasement consisted of massive rooms, its ceiling maybe 25 or 30 toes excessive. It was all poured concrete, and, not like the crypt above, it was empty, its flooring naked. That and its cavern-like dimension helped to clarify the echoes we heard. With the lights on, the sump pumps seemed much less spooky, particularly when Mr. Patterson began them up manually and the pit water gurgled upward.

We moved into the larger room. The big pit was about eight or 9 toes huge, and Mr. Patterson mentioned it served as a gathering level that fed water into the pumps. The encompassing flooring, just like the steps, was stuffed with watery muck. Our footwear made splish-splashy noises.

Throughout our tour, Mr. Patterson stored declaring options of the sub-crypt space that had been both previous and unused or mysterious in goal. There have been pipes, stairs and an enormous shaft that went nowhere — relics from 130 years of constructing and rebuilding.

Now, in passing, he talked about one other relic.

On the backside of the massive gathering pool, Mr. Patterson mentioned, was a feeder pipe, its supply unknown. “It’s one other pipe from nowhere,” he mentioned, his voice reverberating. “However it was put there deliberately to get water into that pit.”


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