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Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:06 AM

There are no trees large enough in all of France to rebuild Notre Dame.

Think about that. I doubt there any oaks large enough in all of Europe left as well.

60 replies, 4582 views

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Reply There are no trees large enough in all of France to rebuild Notre Dame. (Original post)
Cattledog Apr 2019 OP
democratisphere Apr 2019 #1
Sherman A1 Apr 2019 #3
malaise Apr 2019 #17
Demovictory9 Apr 2019 #53
defacto7 Apr 2019 #24
artislife Apr 2019 #54
TreasonousBastard Apr 2019 #2
applegrove Apr 2019 #58
Captain_New_York Apr 2019 #4
OnDoutside Apr 2019 #6
defacto7 Apr 2019 #25
jmowreader Apr 2019 #30
Blue_true Apr 2019 #44
Spider Jerusalem Apr 2019 #5
zipplewrath Apr 2019 #7
DFW Apr 2019 #8
FakeNoose Apr 2019 #21
DFW Apr 2019 #23
True Dough Apr 2019 #26
jberryhill Apr 2019 #31
Hortensis Apr 2019 #9
exboyfil Apr 2019 #10
JI7 Apr 2019 #12
Mendocino Apr 2019 #47
Amishman Apr 2019 #11
DetlefK Apr 2019 #13
JustABozoOnThisBus Apr 2019 #34
FakeNoose Apr 2019 #36
DeminPennswoods Apr 2019 #14
appal_jack Apr 2019 #15
Hekate Apr 2019 #37
MAD Dave Apr 2019 #16
greyl Apr 2019 #28
Hekate Apr 2019 #38
Brother Buzz Apr 2019 #42
Blue_true Apr 2019 #52
Brother Buzz Apr 2019 #56
Blue_true Apr 2019 #57
Brother Buzz Apr 2019 #59
honest.abe Apr 2019 #18
hlthe2b Apr 2019 #19
Hotler Apr 2019 #20
yaesu Apr 2019 #22
tinrobot Apr 2019 #27
greyl Apr 2019 #29
blaze Apr 2019 #40
jmowreader Apr 2019 #60
rampartc Apr 2019 #32
jberryhill Apr 2019 #33
titaniumsalute Apr 2019 #35
Blue_Tires Apr 2019 #39
hunter Apr 2019 #41
pecosbob Apr 2019 #43
Brother Buzz Apr 2019 #48
pecosbob Apr 2019 #49
rictofen Apr 2019 #45
aikoaiko Apr 2019 #46
Mendocino Apr 2019 #50
Kablooie Apr 2019 #51
machoneman Apr 2019 #55

Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:11 AM

1. Modern materials must be used to reconstruct the Notre Dame Cathedral in the Gothic Style.

Sad what humans have done to the forests throughout the world.

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Response to democratisphere (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:15 AM

3. Hopefully it will be rebuilt

with modern materials that will let it go on for centuries.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 08:30 AM

17. And with sprinklers n/t

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Response to malaise (Reply #17)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 06:37 PM

53. plus 1000

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 10:23 AM

24. Recycled materials. What a statement to the world.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #24)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:31 PM

54. Or hemp! nt

 

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:13 AM

2. This is true, but they'll find something else...

You cannot restore vintage sailboats, either, because you can't get 14' mahogany planks any more.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 08:24 PM

58. I once visited an abandoned mansion. It was over 100 years old. There

were 17 inch planks all over the place. I don't think I've seen that before or since and I live in canada. I bet they source the best recyclable beams for Notre Dame to lead the world in how to be human once again. Environmentally neutral is the way to go.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:17 AM

4. It will be better

The Achilles heel of all churches historically has been the roof structure. Over centuries the heat and smoke dried out the wood to tinder. Using lightweight non flammable support that is still encased in slate roofing and plaster ceilings will not even be visible but infinitely safer.

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Response to Captain_New_York (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:25 AM

6. I am outraged by your practicality and good sense.

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Response to Captain_New_York (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 10:34 AM

25. Considering most of these old cathedral roofs are covered in lead

the improvement in weight will be immense. The lead is usually covered again with copper in more recent times. It would be excellent to see materials used that depict our present need for lighter eco friendly materials. It doesn't need to be nor should it be built to the ancient standards other than visible design.

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Response to Captain_New_York (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 10:48 AM

30. Any kind of roof covering will be better than what they had

Norte Dame’s original roof was lead sheet nailed directly to the joists. It was thick enough to walk on, because there’s a clock up there someone has to wind regularly.

If you really want to know what started this fire...you fix lead roofing, which is common in European buildings that old, with a bar of lead, a spatula, and an air-acetylene torch. (We had lead roofing on part of Field Station Berlin, and I’d have to guard people who came to fix it. It takes two people: one to melt new lead into the old, the other to smooth it out and stir it in. Very neat process.)

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Response to Captain_New_York (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 05:46 PM

44. They will find a way to make it look as good as new, and safer.

A lot of brain power is likely working on that right now.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:21 AM

5. There are, probably, in Białowieża Forest in Poland

which is the only bit of primeval forest remaining in all of Europe. (And protected so you can't just go cutting down centuries-old trees for new cathedral roofbeams.)

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:27 AM

7. Nothing can be "replaced"

You can't really replace an 800 year old roof. I would hope that going forward the church looks forward as much as backward. Rebuilding this church can be an opportunity, much like 800 years ago, to train new craftsmen and artists. It can become the center of activity in Paris for a wide range of people to learn a trade, to become skilled in an art form, and to participate in something assuredly to live on for centuries. It could become something for all churches to aspire for decades to come.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:32 AM

8. Probably not, but architecture has progressed somewhat since the 12th century, too.

Nothing can be replaced 100% as it was, but there is a huge photo archive, and I'm sure no effort will be spared in trying to replicate what was as best as can be done. France will not accept the loss of Notre Dame as a permanent situation.

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Response to DFW (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 09:30 AM

21. There's a lot of expertise in France and Germany to do restorations

I've seen the cathedrals in Cologne, Vienna, and Dresden that were seriously damaged in World War II. Especially the Dresden firebombing left almost nothing standing! And yet the cathedrals have been restored in modern times with recent materials, and hopefully the buildings will stand for centuries.

For context, here's the Cathedral in Dresden (Frauenkirche) in 1945 and now:


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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 10:13 AM

23. Dresden is probably the most shining example of what is possible

It will take many years, but they will not rest until it is restored.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 10:42 AM

26. That's truly incredible

I'm sure in a decade we'll be looking at similar comparisons of Notre Dame, now and then.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 11:05 AM

31. Or Nantes




Or Turin...



Or Reims...






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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:39 AM

9. Interesting thought, but in the Middle Ages the only non-fruiting trees

people didn't burn to warm and shelter themselves were in protected preserves. The late Middle Ages were starting to improve in spite of a series of great calamities but were still bad, bad, baad times for badly degraded humanity in Europe. If they could build then, I'm sure we'll manage it somehow. We're also slightly better at metallurgy, cutting and moving stone, and creating derivative products now.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:44 AM

10. Trump has got this

Bids being taken for the National Park giant sequoias.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #10)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:47 AM

12. Trump would want his ugly ass name on it

 

I can see him saying the us will donate money to restore it but they need to put his ugliness on it

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #10)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 05:56 PM

47. Sequoias

Sequoiadendron giaganteum make for poor timber. Resistant to rot and fire, but brittle and weak. Some shatter when cut. (It didn't stop some loggers to log them anyhow)

Redwoods Sequoia sempervirens grow strong and straight, a superior tree for lumber.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:46 AM

11. The timber roof structure wasn't visible to the public anyway

Restore everything visible to look like original but upgrade the hidden supports to modern materials. Best of both worlds.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:49 AM

13. It would be a horrible idea to use original materials. Take the Frauenkirche as an example.

The Dresdner Frauenkirche was nothing more than a heap of rubble after WWII. They glued the original stones back together with cement. The restoration was quickly criticized as being essentially an entirely new building, because while some parts are original and some new parts were made with ancient manufacturing-methods, the new Frauenkirche contains electric wires, heating, AC and steel support-beams.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frauenkirche_(Dresden)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dresden_Frauenkirche

It makes no sense to use an inferior material for a repair. It won't be the original building anyways, so it's okay to cheat a little bit and make the hidden parts more durable.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #13)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 12:24 PM

34. Agree. Use modern materials. Maybe add a faux-oak finish.

Throw in electricity, heat, air.

And, just for good measure, add a freaking fire-suppression system. Sprinklers, halon, whatever.

It wouldn't hurt to evaluate existing old buildings for fire-suppression upgrades: The Louvre, Prado, Smithsonian, etc.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #13)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 03:17 PM

36. The people of Dresden saved as many of the original stones as they could

They always wanted to rebuild the Frauenkirche, but they couldn't as long as the Communists were telling them what to do. I visited Dresden in 2002 while the rebuilding was going on, and I learned that they hid or buried the church stones in the 1950s so the Communists couldn't use them to build their ugly buildings. (Most of those are gone now by the way.)

By 1990 the Soviets/Communists were gone, the Dresdners were able to start the huge task of rebuilding the Frauenkirche. Certain stones had to be remanufactured, as you say, in concrete forms. But many of the rescued original stones were used wherever possible. The original building specifications were archived and used. It's really a remarkable story.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:55 AM

14. The spire is not even original to the building

It was added in the mid-1800s. I'm sure there have been other changes and modifications over the years. It will be interesting to see how the architects, historians and the French people themselves decide to restore it.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 08:10 AM

15. Whether new or old materials are used, better stewardship is needed

 

I first heard the story of the Oxford Oaks from the ecological designer William McDonough, I believe, back in the late 1990's at one of the Bioneers Conferences. Charlotte Hajer writes it here:
http://blog.longnow.org/02014/12/31/humans-and-trees-in-long-term-partnership/

Here at Long Now, we often like to tell the story – or perhaps better said, legend – of the oak beams at New College in Oxford. First told to Stewart Brand by anthropologist Gregory Bateson, this short and simple story epitomizes the tremendous value we can reap from some long-term thinking.

Despite what the name may suggest, New College is one of Oxford’s oldest. Founded in 01379, at its heart lies a dining hall that features expansive oak beams across its ceiling. About a century ago, an entomologist discovered that the beams were infested with beetles and would need replacing. The College agonized over where they might find oaks of sufficient size and quality to make new beams. Then, as Stewart Brand recounts,

One of the Junior Fellows stuck his neck out and suggested that there might be some worthy oaks on the College lands. These colleges are endowed with pieces of land scattered across the country which are run by a college Forester. They called in the College Forester, who of course had not been near the college itself for some years, and asked him if there were any oaks for possible use.

He pulled his forelock and said, “Well sirs, we was wonderin’ when you’d be askin’.”

Upon further inquiry it was discovered that when the College was founded, a grove of oaks had been planted to replace the beams in the dining hall when they became beetly, because oak beams always become beetly in the end. This plan had been passed down from one Forester to the next for over five hundred years saying “You don’t cut them oaks. Them’s for the College Hall.”


The link goes into greater detail, separating likely myth from recorded history. It's worth a read in this day and age.

k&r,

-app

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Response to appal_jack (Reply #15)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 04:18 PM

37. I loved this story when I first heard it. Still love it. We could learn a lot. Yesterday...

...when someone mentioned that much of the support structure of Notre Dame was ancient oak, I thought of the university oaks and felt hope amid my tears, that the French builders had also planned far ahead.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 08:28 AM

16. Versailles Oaks

There was a thread on Twitter that said the oaks at Versailles were grown specifically to rebuild the roof at Notre Dame.

The OP said he had attended an emergency preparedness seminar 15-ish years ago and the speaker mentioned that the oaks were part of the plan.

It sounded somewhat credible.

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Response to MAD Dave (Reply #16)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 10:47 AM

28. Yep, they planned for this. Thread here:

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Response to greyl (Reply #28)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 04:20 PM

38. Absolutely beautiful

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Response to greyl (Reply #28)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 05:10 PM

42. How large are the groves at Versailles?

Each beam of the intricate wooden cross-work in the attic (called 'the forest') was drawn from a different tree, estimated at 13,000 trees in total.

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #42)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 06:34 PM

52. Modern engineering can likely use one tree to do what 100 did 8

centuries or even four centuries ago. We may be clueless in a lot of ways, but in other ways we get better in time.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #52)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 08:11 PM

56. If they go with engineered timbers they don't need to lop down a mess of four-hundred year old trees

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #56)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 08:15 PM

57. I agree. Plenty of engineering options exist.

They could build an "old" exterior for all that is visible and an ultra-modern support structure for that which is seen only by builders.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #57)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 08:45 PM

59. The support timbers were hidden from sight above the arched ceilings





The yellow triangle that supported the lead sheathed roof is what basically burned, although there were a couple of rents in vaulted ceilings


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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 08:38 AM

18. Probaby true but they can use engineered wooden beams to replace large single beams.

If they decide to go with wood.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 08:54 AM

19. If we remained a shell of the people and country we once were, we'd donate them.

Sadly, I hold no hope for that.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #19)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 09:16 AM

20. Ya! +1

And will we see the American billionaires chip in millions like the French billionaires did? Maybe Jamie Dimon and Lloyd (doing the work of God) Blankfein and friends can scrape up few hundred million.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 10:02 AM

22. I was inspecting an old warehouse built before the state was cleared out by lumber barons

in the 1800's. It had huge supports cut from single trees that couldn't be found anywhere in the country today. It was like the land of the giants. Sadly, it burned down a few years ago.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 10:44 AM

27. Perhaps they need to rebuild with something that won't burn so easily.

With modern materials, they can duplicate the old structure precisely and much more safely.

The old roof on the building wasn't original anyways. Update it again.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 10:48 AM

29. They planned for this.

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Response to greyl (Reply #29)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 04:36 PM

40. photo of oak grove

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Response to greyl (Reply #29)

Wed Apr 17, 2019, 10:34 AM

60. At this point I wouldn't use those oaks

They have become as much a national treasure as Notre Dame is. It would be a shame to cut them down.

My recommendation would be to install steel framing, put rubber isolation strips on top of the steel, then attach metal plate that’s been treated to match the old lead sheathing to it. Once it’s on, restore the ceiling using materials and techniques as close as possible to the original one.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 11:07 AM

32. there are no masons with that skill

and the last artist that great died long ago.

the cathedrals were the space program of their era. have we built anything that will stand for 1,000 years?

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Response to rampartc (Reply #32)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 11:54 AM

33. "have we built anything that will stand for 1,000 years?"

Coupla things to think about there.

First, there are many cathedrals which ceased to stand a long time ago. The ones that are old, and still standing, are merely the ones that haven't fallen down.

Second, even that is not accurate. Most massive old structures, which the exception of things like the pyramids which fundamentally can't fall down, have been ongoing works since construction started, and have required continuous reconstruction and periodic major overhauls. That spire which fell yesterday, for example, was not part of the original cathedral, but was added in the 1800s. Notre Dame was sacked during the French Revolution and left to rot for quite some decades.

Finally, yes, there are artisans today who are every bit as good at carving stone as medieval craftsman, as the maintenance and restoration of these structures has continued to require generations of them. With modern CNC equipment, accurate duplicates of stone or wood carvings can be rendered from 3D laser scans of the original.



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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 12:26 PM

35. There is no way they could use oak trees to rebuild the roof

That roof was built in the 1300s and then modified and reinforced many times over the years. But no way to recreate what is was. At this point make the rook look as authentic but structurally safe (and fire retardant as possible) and protect the rest of the remaining structure as well as possible.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 04:20 PM

39. I missed the part that said it had to be rebuilt to exact former specs

It was long overdue for a major overhaul and renovation, so without messing up the old world look and feel, use modern materials instead??

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 04:40 PM

41. Big old trees should be protected as big old trees. Let them live.

And lead covered roofs were always a bad idea.

If I was choosing, I'd go for 100% recycled steel and copper, with a recycled composite wood veneer everywhere the old burned wood was significant.

And fire sprinklers. Don't forget the fire sprinklers.

Donations of steel, copper, and wood, especially materials of found and otherwise neglected historical significance, most gratefully and graciously accepted.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 05:39 PM

43. I would most definitely choose wooden laminate beams over the trees at Versailles

Use of wood laminate has been common in churches for decades...I have helped design several in past years.

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Response to pecosbob (Reply #43)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 05:58 PM

48. The timbering was solely structural and was totally hidden behind the masonry ceilings

Steel is the logical choice, and dimes to donuts says the original craftsmen would have gone with it had it been in their arsenal.

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #48)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 06:02 PM

49. If totally hidden I would tend to agree...

just imagine where those craftsmens' flights of fancy would have taken gothic design if they had steel for support.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 05:48 PM

45. Transparent aluminum?

That's the ticket, laddie.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 05:55 PM

46. Engineering of construction materials has come a long way in the last 800 years.


Even if there were trees large enough, we might not want to cut them down.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 06:04 PM

50. Old growth trees

are their "cathedrals", leave them be. Best to find other resources.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 06:15 PM

51. They should consult Disney. They are experts at making classic structures with modern technology.

I'd bet they have proprietary construction techniques designed to recreate ancient structures that maintain modern safety standards.

The restoration has to take fire safety as well as longevity into consideration so plain wood would be a poor choice.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 07:55 PM

55. I say French owned Airbus manufacturing should make carbon fiber roof beams and cross supports....

in their gigantic autoclaves used to now make immense airplane wings.

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