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Scaffolds are down, but there’s more work to be done on La Crosse cathedral

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The St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral in La Crosse is back out in the open, after being shrouded in scaffolding for more than a year. 

Replacement of heavy stones on the outer wall made the scaffolds necessary.  But the $6 million restoration isn’t done yet.  Monsignor Richard Gilles says the church which opened in 1962 had serious problems earlier than expected.

“We’re 60 years into it, but there’s been problems developing well into like the 20, 30 year mark which isn’t that long for a brand new building,” saus Gilles. The scaffolds helped keep people from getting close to the church as old stones would fall to the ground.

Gilles is hoping that the front entrance to the cathedral can be reopened late this month, in time for the ordinations of new priests.

The project was supposed to be finished back in December.  However, Gilles likes how the outside of the cathedral looks after the replacement of many large pieces of stone.

“I think it looks even better, because all the tuck pointing has been done and it’s just, you can tell it’s solid and it’s been washed and cleaned,” says the monsignor.

Gilles tells us a celebration of the cathedral makeover is being planned for this September. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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