Replacement of the Steps at St Joseph Cathedral in 2019

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1978 view of the steps

Are you wondering what all those brown paper bags are on the right side of the church steps?
That was the year we had the church insulation project, done by Dave Sevigny, Ed Sulva, John Fisher and many others.
We climbed on top of the rounded dome of the ceiling and installed a complete layer of about 8 or 10 inches of fiberglass insulation.

See Ed Sulva at work . . . See Dave Sevigny at work


17 June 2019 Begin removing the individual step stones

Making good progress

19 June 2019 Photo of the steps


20 June 2019 and the steps are now gone!

I asked one of the construction workers about the holes in the stone wall. He explained that they were probably holes for beams
used for securing staging during the original construction of the church facade in 1884-1885 etc.

This is the new design of the steps.

Basically they will be 16 feet wide versus the original 64 feet wide and will be granite.

The railing will be of aluminum and the lamp posts will be restored and reused.


Here is the side view


Here is the top view.

As you can see, the steps will be about 16 feet wide; with an 8 foot green space on each side for grass or bushes or trees,

and there are 16 feet of open space outward of those. All the open space and sidewalks will be new concrete I believe.

I am not the expert but I am just trying to simplify what is actually a very complex design document, so that we non-designers

can understand it. In order to create these 3 images I removed much detailed info.

I hope that you enjoy watching this project get completed. John


23 June 2019 We are now down to the foundations of the church


25 June 2019 - putting in the forms for the new steps


28 June 2019 Base foundation poured and dry


3 July 2019 Installing the forms for the platform and steps


3 July 2019 The forms for the step section alone

A 4 day break for our Independence Day

12 July 2019 Foundations are complete

Step foundation done and filled in on 20 July 2019

24 July 2019 Installing the forms for the high platform in front of the 3 doors

2 Aug 2019 Filling the concrete forms for the platform

6 Aug 2019 platform concrete is finished, removing the forms

6 Aug 2019 Setting up the forms for the steps

10 Aug 2019 The concrete support for the new steps look very good

16 Aug 2019 Filling the platforms with stone

24 Aug 2019 Concrete on platform filled and hardened

27 Aug 2019 Installing the first granite step (3 each 5 feet wide)

28 Aug 2019 Adding more steps

30 Aug 2019 Granite steps completed. Now installing same thickness granite on the total platform above

Next they will apply the veneer stone. some granite and some red stone, on the left side first.

13 Sep 2019 Applying the stone veneer

The side is original redstone and the front is granite like the steps

28 Sep 2019 closeup of the side wall

28 Sep 2019 Wall, steps, deck and green area coming together

4 October 2019 New curbs and sidewalks completed

Workers are now installing granite blocks on top of the platform

26 October 2019 Finished the sides of the steps and added granite to the top deck

Added the railings; and the refurbished original lights; almost done!!!

5 Nov 2019 -- Adding more railings; and now landscaping; almost done!!!

9 Nov 2019 The step project is completed - at the Saturday 4 pm Mass

The steps will be blessed tomorrow during the 10 am Mass by Fr. Harlow

Bruce Rioux is one of the first users of our new steps

Jimmy Burke uses our new steps