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

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At present, Mr. Patterson stated, the sub-crypt flooding is far decreased. Why? His concept facilities on the rise of Enclave — a 430-unit rental complicated that runs the size of West 113th Road between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. The dwelling, constructed from 2014 to 2016, set off protests from opponents who stated the 15-story complicated obscured road 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 many of the underground move away from the cathedral. “They solved our drawback.”

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

The cathedral’s cavernous subbasement consisted of huge rooms, its ceiling maybe 25 or 30 ft excessive. It was all poured concrete, and, in contrast to the crypt above, it was empty, its flooring naked. That and its cavern-like measurement helped to elucidate the echoes we heard. With the lights on, the sump pumps appeared 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 ft huge, and Mr. Patterson stated 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 sneakers made splish-splashy noises.

Throughout our tour, Mr. Patterson stored declaring options of the sub-crypt space that have been both previous and unused or mysterious in objective. There have been pipes, stairs and a large 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 stated, was a feeder pipe, its supply unknown. “It’s one other pipe from nowhere,” he stated, his voice reverberating. “But it surely was put there deliberately to get water into that pit.”

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