12.04.2008

A Second Open Letter to the MBTA

Dear MBTA,

Yes, indeed, this is my second open letter to you.

I cannot express the shock and dismay that crossed my face when I walked into rehearsal at Boston's Old South Church this evening. Apparently, sometime Tuesday night, or perhaps early Wednesday morning, a huge crack appeared in the Eastern wall--the Dartmouth-facing wall containing multiple large stained glass windows--of Old South Church. Earlier, I had reported that it was 30 feet in length. Now I know it is much greater than this.

A closer inspection revealed the crack begins at the foundation, works its way up the right side of the stained glass, wends its way around one of the rose windows, and then angles towards the ceiling, making its way across the plaster to the lantern at the base of the cupola. It also branches off into the organ tower and paneling. The crack is deep enough to extend from the exterior of the building's stone façade, to the interior plaster, into which one can insert a hand. An entire portion of the church has shifted.

MBTA, I think this crack is a result of the Copley station transit project, a project which many parishioners of the church where I sing and work believed would not affect the structure of the building, per your assurances.

The organ should not be played, now, as it could prompt large portions of the plaster to fall. This directly affects the Boston Secession concert that will take place there tomorrow evening, Friday, 5 December 2008, as the concert makes use of the organ. Will my friends' concert take place? We do not yet know. Tomorrow, structural engineers will determine if the sanctuary is even safe for habitation. Will church services take place this coming Sunday? Only time will tell.

In good news, during tonight's rehearsal I was assigned a lovely solo in a Calvin Hampton piece, which I will sing in the always-beautiful, candle-lit Christmas Eve service at Old South. I do hope you'll attend. Hopefully it will still take place.

Sincerely,

Alecia


N. B.  I would like for it to be made clear that this open letter is written by me, Alecia, an individual, and not as a spokesperson for or on the behalf of Old South Church.  Any opinions and thoughts expressed herein are solely my own.  It is important for readers of this blog to understand that I believe Old South Church will work honestly, faithfully, carefully and fairly to ensure the safety and preservation of this historic structure. 

8 comments:

Andy said...

Guess what? You've made the news: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles_of_faith/2008/12/large_crack_dev.html

Nordo said...

Right on, Alecia! Nice one.

Alecia said...

Hi, Nordo and Andy--

I want to tell you it wasn't my goal to make news or break news. I was simply concerned about the state of this lovely building I've come to know as a sort of home and I wanted to express that concern. I also wasn't trying to deliver any "zingers", as I, personally, have no concrete evidence that actions of the MBTA contributed to this crack. As I stated in the N.B., the statements written herein are solely my own thoughts, observations and opinions.

adamg said...

More from Channel 4:

Rev. Nancy Taylor said the church and MBTA are working together to determine if the church is safe. ... Work on the Copley Station project has now been halted, and according to Charles O'Reilly, Assistant General Manager of Design and Construction at the MBTA, they are unsure if that work will be able to continue.

Andy said...

I have no doubt that you were only blogging about what you saw and NOT trying to make or break news. That is beneath you, somehow.

However, in this day and age, the words of the blogger are increasingly more relevent, as your post and the follow-up attention shown to it are evidence of.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh-- terrible news about this historical building...now let's talk about your awesome voice. We feel your pain...

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