Notre Dame Cathedral Is On Fire

And it looks bad.






216 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Mon dieu. That’s terrible.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Betty Cracker says:

    How awful! I wonder what happened? Looks like there’s scaffolding around it. Maybe a construction mishap?

  4. 4
    Soprano2 says:

    Oh that is horrible. I went there in 1982 on a college choir trip. I think we even sang there. What a tragedy; perhaps the damage won’t be too great.

    Betty, they are constantly cleaning those buildings. I’ve never seen one that didn’t have scaffolding around it somewhere. It’s the pollution – it makes the stone black.

  5. 5
    JR says:

    It’s amazing that it survived the Revolution, all four of them, the Prussians, the Paris Commune, the Nazis. And now this…

  6. 6

  7. 7
    catclub says:

    I was thinking its has had a pretty good run. made through the French rev., made it through German occupation.

  8. 8
    normal liberal says:

    Only CNN has it as of 12:25 central, and if the video is live, they seem to be getting a handle on the flames – lots of grey smoke. The whole central structure is in scaffolds due to restoration works. The central spire looks like it might collapse.
    Damn.
    ETA-more recent postings suggest the fire was moving east into the choir. Damn cubed.

  9. 9
    catclub says:

    @JR: curses, beaten by 1 minute.

  10. 10
    kindness says:

    I was going to make a crack about God & Pete Buttigieg only to see it was the Paris Notre Dame. Damn. Poor humor gone to waste.

  11. 11
    TomatoQueen says:

    Roof is engulfed, tallest spire, center.

  12. 12
    Mart says:

    @Betty Cracker: F’ng contractors…

  13. 13
    tobie says:

    How terrible. It’s hard to believe that a cathedral that survived the Thirty Years War, WWI, WWII and so many of the other conflicts that engulfed Europe is now engulfed in flames.

  14. 14
    cain says:

    You know, Trump will probably blame immigrants.

  15. 15
    catclub says:

    @Mart:

    F’ng contractors…

    They will ALWAYS use a blowtorch to get off old paint, rather than a scraper. Also plumbers thawing pipes with blowtorch.

  16. 16
    AM in NC says:

    I was just there in November. This is unbelievable, and unbelievably sad. I hope nobody was hurt!

  17. 17
    catclub says:

    @tobie:

    that survived the Thirty Years War,

    I thought of that as a German thing. I would have guessed France have stayed much more solidly Catholic.

    although there were some “kill em all, let God sort them out’ religious massacres in France.

  18. 18
    janesays says:

    That’s a nearly 1,000 year old building that’s gonna be gone forever. What an awful tragedy.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    I just got tears watching the pictures.
    Can’t believe it. :( :(

  20. 20
    cain says:

    can’t they bring in planes and dump water?

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The President has tweeted instructions to the Paris firefighters, so good news everybody, everything will soon be under control! What a putz!

  22. 22
    Joe Falco says:

    I visited the cathedral the summer after my high school graduation in ’02. Talk about history being destroyed in front of your eyes.

  23. 23
    catclub says:

    @janesays:

    that’s gonna be gone forever.

    I would expect a rebuilding campaign. They might rebuild it better. Like the 6 Million dollar man.

  24. 24
    normal liberal says:

    As of about 12:30 central, CNN has a photo showing most of the roof of the south transept in flames, nearly to the south facade.
    That’s it. This century sucks.

  25. 25
    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Well fuck, I just made the same instructions! :-)

  26. 26
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    Am I the only one who saw that and thought https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vv_LwwwpmU

  27. 27
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman: More hot air; just what Paris needs right now.

  28. 28
    tobie says:

    @catclub: You’re right that the Thirty Years War ripped Germany apart because of the religious divisions there but I can’t imagine that a conflict that lasted that long didn’t spill-over into other countries, even those much more unified religiously.

  29. 29
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @catclub: Trump Tower Paris?

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cain: @cain: Don’t you have more important things to do than comment here Mr. President?//

  31. 31
    JR says:

    @catclub: The big threat to Notre Dame was dechristianization circa 1793.

  32. 32
    Martin says:

    @cain: From where? California has those generally close by because we routinely have fires. France doesn’t. And even CA sometimes has to wait a day to get those planes in because we lent ours to another state.

    And even though we have those planes, nobody wants to pay for them when they aren’t being used. Then it’s a waste, like volcano monitoring, and health insurance.

  33. 33
    catclub says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I was thinking about rebuilding it BETTER than before.

  34. 34
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m pretty sure that dumping huge amounts of water on an extremely old and structurally weakened building is not the best way to preserve it intact. :(

    What we REALLY need is to start detonating a ton of bombs and setting fires nearby. To deprive this fire of oxygen. Much more sensible, and I’m sure Donnie would love to hit that big red button.

  35. 35

  36. 36
    JR says:

    @tobie: The Huguenots only really established a foothold in the south of France.

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The steeple has just collapsed into the cathedral!

  38. 38
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @catclub: Double the flying buttresses. Maybe add some gold gilt. Got it.

  39. 39

  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Aw Jesus. I’m just sick over this. That glorious building.

  41. 41
    MattF says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, what the firefighters are all in need of is advice from DJT. The stable genius says ‘pour water on it’. Grr.

  42. 42
    satby says:

    I hope they can put it out soon.

  43. 43

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: It would not help.

  45. 45
    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @cain: @cain: Don’t you have important things to do than comment here Mr. President?//

    ;)

    @MisterForkbeard:

    Jeezus, that is a danger, I hope it doesn’t spread…

  46. 46
    Martin says:

    Having just been through Germany and Austria, it was notable how many of their cathedrals were massively damaged at various points in the past, and were rebuilt even in just the last century. To us visitors, we would never have known if not told. None of the rose windows in Notre Dame are original – they were all replaced a century ago. These events are not uncommon for any building of this age. They always rebuilt. The question is whether we have the resolve to as well.

    And for all the damage from the fire, the accumulated damage from pollution is just as bad. These buildings have been destroyed from pollution, and nobody seemed particularly motivated by that.

  47. 47

    All the artwork inside must be gone.

  48. 48
    cain says:

    @Martin:

    @cain: From where? California has those generally close by because we routinely have fires. France doesn’t. And even CA sometimes has to wait a day to get those planes in because we lent ours to another state.

    Point. Also as someone else says, I don’t think it’s going to help at this stage now. The only thing to do now is make sure it doesn’t spread and take out anything else.

  49. 49
    catclub says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The reason for the interference is that aerial drops of water and retardant make good television.”

    It would make GREAT television if they did an airdrop and ( as others have suggested) collapse the whole fucking building.
    water is heavy.

  50. 50
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @cain: Don’t you have important things to do than comment here Mr. President?

    Don’t you think commenting here would be among the least-harmful things he could be doing right now? I mean, it’d be a sacrifice for the rest of us reading his …contributions, but for the greater good of all.

  51. 51
    NotMax says:

    Ash Monday?

    Could have been way worse if it happened during Easter services.

  52. 52
    Matthew Blanchette says:

    @catclub: @tobie: France was involved in the second half of the Thirty Years War, but on the Protestant side. They cared more about taking down their Habsburg rivals than about the religious conflict.

  53. 53

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Martin: The only good news here is that they have detailed blueprints of the cathedral from the restoration work. So there will be reconstruction and they have the specs.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: I’ll allow it.

  56. 56
    Gelfling 545 says:

    My heart is breaking.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Mel says:

    According to Reuters at about 1:35 pm, police on site have stated that the Notre Dame fire was started accidentally, but the accident was related to the current renovation / construction work being done.

    Just heartbreaking.

  59. 59
    Gravenstone says:

    @catclub: You comment gave me MOVE flashbacks. Not exactly the same thing, but it’s the though that counts.

  60. 60

    @Adam L Silverman: Yes, and there are photos and I’m sure detailed specs for the stained glass.

    But terrible to see the destruction.

  61. 61
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    “Dropped the ball by not raking the grounds. SAD!” //

  62. 62
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Martin: Yep. We’re lucky in that Notre Dame is extremely well known, documented, and has (as already been noted) gone through some repairs and updating in the past.

    We know exactly how to rebuild it faithfully. It’s just a question of cost, and I’d expect any French politician to jump at the chance to look good and commit to it.

  63. 63
    Gravenstone says:

    @Betty Cracker: That’s the first thought, but my suspicious brain isn’t forgetting the ongoing Yellow Vest madness over there. I really, truly hope it was a simple (albeit catastrophic) mishap.

  64. 64
    cain says:

    @catclub:

    It would make GREAT television if they did an airdrop and ( as others have suggested) collapse the whole fucking building.

    I’d like to see the President personally airdrop in to handle the situation.

  65. 65
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @tobie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Wars_of_Religion

    Though it’s more impressive Notra Dame survived the siege of Paris and the Paris Commune in 1873,

  66. 66
    Nicole says:

    Oh God. This is awful. Like many of us, I’ve also been to see it, years ago, and was agog at seeing it in person. I can’t imagine what the people of Paris are feeling right now.

  67. 67
    Mary G says:

    Wow. So awful.

  68. 68
    cain says:

    @dmsilev:

    Don’t you think commenting here would be among the least-harmful things he could be doing right now? I mean, it’d be a sacrifice for the rest of us reading his …contributions, but for the greater good of all.

    So we are some kind of honeypot? I suppose the coterie (as in witches) of his people will show up here too I reckon, including stephen sprayon miller…

  69. 69
    Martin says:

    Also, the fire tankers don’t usually put out the fires, they mostly contain their spread by putting water and retardant in the path of the fire. Any fire that earns the presence of a tanker is going to be large enough it needs to put itself out or wait for rain. They use helicopters with buckets for putting spots out, mostly because they have much greater accuracy, but even there they are usually only used when it’s an area you can’t reach with a truck.

    For a structure fire, you send all the people you have and you don’t bring in aircraft that can threaten their safety. Firefighers have much greater adaptability to structures, and much greater precision. I suspect that if France did send all of their fire crews, they didn’t have the water pressure on the island to keep up. That’s been a real problem here in SoCal in big fires – water infrastructure is not up to that kind of effort.

  70. 70

    This one is better than the one upthread.

  71. 71
    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @Martin: The only good news here is that they have detailed blueprints of the cathedral from the restoration work. So there will be reconstruction and they have the specs.

    Stored.. not in the burning building I hope? Possibly on google docs? :-)

  72. 72
    Fair Economist says:

    So glad to have seen it. So grieved that it’s so damaged. It looks like it will be a near total loss. Such a terrible loss; it’s never a time to lose something so beautiful but especially not now.

  73. 73
    raven says:

    And we just started Les Miserables last night.

  74. 74
    Martin says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Exactly. What becomes of Notre Dame is only a function of our society. If we value it, it’ll be rebuilt and cherished as such. If not, well, just look at New Orleans.

  75. 75
    tobie says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Thanks for the link. I forgot what a threat to the church the Paris Commune must have been.

  76. 76
    cckids says:

    @Mel: God, what a tragedy. I can’t help but think of those poor construction workers as well. Everyone involved, whether at fault or not, will be needing protection.

  77. 77
    raven says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: If they were renovating maybe it was moved.

  78. 78
    catclub says:

    @Gravenstone: sorry! MOVE was bad

  79. 79
    Fair Economist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It took 200 years to build it, though. Large masonry constructions can’t be built a whole lot faster, even today. And the artwork would have to be new too.

  80. 80
    arrieve says:

    Shit shit shit. I’m just devastated. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris many times and Notre Dame is always the first place I visit. To sit there in the semi-darkness and look up at those magnificent rose windows was such a spiritual experience. It was one of the rare places where the atmosphere was so compelling that it managed to keep even the worst of the tourists hushed and reverent.

    I’m sure they’ll rebuild, and they should. But the beauty that has been lost today is irreplaceable.

  81. 81
    mdblanche says:

    @catclub: @tobie: France was involved in the second half of the Thirty Years War, but on the Protestant side. They cared more about taking the Hapsburgs down a peg than about the religious conflict.

    @Cheryl Rofer: Merde

  82. 82
    Mike in NC says:

    Fat Bastard must have been tuned in to Fox & Friends when the story of the fire came on. It’s not like he has a job to do or anything.

  83. 83
    EthylEster says:

    Why three tweets?
    Doesn’t one convey the matter clearly?

  84. 84
    Aretino says:

    IIRC, this is a stone vaulted, tile roofed structure. I am surprised that it can sustain a fire this large, unless there are incendiary liquids involved (possible, I suppose, with restoration work).

  85. 85
    Emerald says:

    Of course they will rebuild, just as Germany did. Shoot, they only fairly recently re-opened the Dresden Frauenkirche.

    What a damned, awful, horrible event. Damn. Damn. Damn. I’m sick.

  86. 86
    Elizabelle says:

    Mon dieu. God save Notre Dame.

    A cathedral school suffered a terrible fire in DC area years back. Renovations. It’s a threat.

  87. 87

  88. 88
    cain says:

    @Martin:

    @MisterForkbeard: Exactly. What becomes of Notre Dame is only a function of our society. If we value it, it’ll be rebuilt and cherished as such. If not, well, just look at New Orleans.

    Well, Europe cares about its treasures in ways the U.S. does not. I see France rebuilding as a matter of French pride especially since it was destroyed.

  89. 89
    catclub says:

    @Aretino: I think there is actually a substantial amount of wood in a stone cathedral.

  90. 90
    cain says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Fat Bastard must have been tuned in to Fox & Friends when the story of the fire came on. It’s not like he has a job to do or anything.

    Fat bastard is going ot make all kinds of suggestions, topmost was that they should have consulted him, he has a lot of experience in real estate and how to protect it from fire damage. No buildings of his has ever burned down because he is an expert.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: @Gravenstone:

  92. 92
    mali muso says:

    Awful, awful, awful. I’ve visited many times, pretty much anytime I’ve been through Paris, and it’s always been such an awe-inspiring and sombering work of architecture and art. This is really heart-breaking. Feels like the whole world is mad.

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Fortunately, they removed all the statuary from the roof for the restoration, so those will be safe.

  94. 94
    Wag says:

    Large churches in Europe are no strangers to fires. 30+ years ago, York Minster was struck by lightning and burned. They were able to rebuild quickly. Hopefully the same will be be as lucky
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-28112373

  95. 95
    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    This is a terrible tragedy, and I hope the workers don’t blame themselves for it.

  96. 96
    NotMax says:

    For reasons that still remain murky, the IRS had been ordered to move all Trump family tax documentation to storage in the attic of Notre Dame as a “precautionary measure.”

    :)

  97. 97
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @cain: Macron’s statement @that Cheryl posted: gives me a lot of hope here. I think they’ll rebuild it. I also think it will take decades.

    Do we have any news on whether or not they were able to evacuate any of the art? Even small things matter.

  98. 98
    Fair Economist says:

    @Aretino: The interior supports are mostly wood. There is a lot of lumber in that building.

  99. 99
    cain says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    @cain: Macron’s statement a @Cheryl Rofer: gives me a lot of hope here. I think they’ll rebuild it. I also think it will take decades.

    They’ll probably make improvements as well over the old design. Maybe add a batcave :-)

  100. 100
    Chyron HR says:

    I hope Secretary Clinton is ready for some more 11-hour hearings investigating her culpability.

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cain: Dan Brown is on it.

  102. 102
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @cain: A batcave… and a fire suppressant system. :(

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: You know what you did…

  104. 104
    NotMax says:

    @catclub

    Tons and tons of wood. Also too, marble (what there is of it) is flammable.

  105. 105
    cain says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    @cain: A batcave… and a fire suppressant system. :(

    Yeah, for sure. A fire suppressant system should be added to all existing structures.

  106. 106

  107. 107
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Fair Economist: I realize you’re required, as an economist, to be dismal at all times, but I’m doing my best here to provide a wee bit of hope.

  108. 108

  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aretino: Lot of old growth wood on the inside.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cain: Not so much.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/09/trump-fought-against-fitting-of-sprinklers-in-apartment-where-man-died

    Trump fought against fitting of sprinklers in apartment where man died

    Property mogul spoke against retrofitting of sprinklers in Trump Tower as unnecessary and expensive.

  111. 111

    @Fair Economist:

    Large masonry constructions can’t be built a whole lot faster, even today.

    The reason most of the cathedrals were so slow to build was shortage of money, not inherent difficulty in building something like that more quickly. If the resources are there, the actual construction can be pretty quick.

  112. 112
    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Truths and facts have never been a barrier to our President who will continue to make statements unbound by such egalitarian concepts.

  113. 113
    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @Aretino: Lot of old growth wood on the inside.

    Well ,don’t be looking to get it from the northwest, we’re full

  114. 114
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: And they rebuilt Reims. Took 19 years.

  115. 115

    Here’s someone who knows something about fighting fires. What I take away from this thread is that there was very little that could be done.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    Ugh. I hope all of the people working inside and outside were able to get out safely. 😢

    Art and history are important, but still not more important than people.

  117. 117

  118. 118
    Gravenstone says:

    @NotMax:

    Also too, marble (what there is of it) is flammable

    Er, what? Marble is an admixture of carbonates. They will decompose under heat to release CO2, but are not flammable as the term is commonly understood.

  119. 119
    Joy in FL says:

    Last time I was in Notre Dame (2008), the choir was practicing. I walked very slowly around the inner perimeter of the building with my camera phone on to record that magnificent choir and music.

    I’m so sad at the beauty lost in this fire.

  120. 120
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The Auxiliary Bishop of LA, who used to do tours at Notre Dame, is explaining on MSNBC that the relics, unless on display, were kept at a separate, secure location. So that is also good news.

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    People don’t always understand how much of firefighting involves keeping it to a restricted location and letting it burn itself out. They put sprinklers in buildings not necessarily to put the actual fire out, but to keep it isolated so it doesn’t spread to the rest of the building.

  122. 122
    MomSense says:

    The spire fell. I’m devastated.

  123. 123
    Brachiator says:

    @AgnesCPoirier reported on BBC News that the stained glass windows have melted. They are no longer there.

    Merde!

  124. 124
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Nicole:

    I’ve toured Notre Dame on three occasions. The first time was on my 17th birthday, 60 years ago this summer. This is simply heartbreaking to watch.

  125. 125
    MoxieM says:

    I feel sick to my stomach. Even if the glass is rebuilt, still… the glass! However, I take hope from the rebuilding of the Dresden Frauenkirche, firebombed by the Brits in WWII and utterly destroyed, now rebuilt following the dumbass decision of the GDR to leave it a ruin as a “war monument”.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Stained glass art is usually held together with strips of lead, which has a relatively low melting point, so that’s probably one of the reasons the windows are entirely gone. The lead probably melted as well.

  127. 127
    raven says:

    OK. time for someone to bitch about Notre Dame fire porn.

  128. 128
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Could someone please get the drunk guy at the end of the bar a double, so he’ll shut up? He’s just full of BS today (advice for Boeing on REBRANDING!, for example)

    What a loon.

  129. 129
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: OMG. Just saw the news of the fire in my news feed. Was thinking, “oh god that organ… and those stained glass windows…” I was hoping the windows survived. Then I scrolled down to your post.

    I don’t know what Paris and Notre Dame looked like at the end of WW2 but Europe is used to rebuilding historic buildings. We visited the historic Bishop’s Palace in Leipzig some years ago, where according to the plaques the entire city had been flattened and 90% of the population wiped out by an Allied bombing raid at the end of the War. You couldn’t tell.

    Isn’t there some old joke along the lines of “This is Benjamin Franklin’s original bed. Every nail and stick of wood has been replaced at least 7 times.”

  130. 130
    Elizabelle says:

    Nuremberg was bombed into pieces in WW2, and looks quite good today. (They moved the precious medieval art to underground bunkers in 1939. They knew which way the wind was blowing.)

    Melted stain glass windows. Heartbreaking, but they can and will rebuild them. Without the patina of age.

    Actually, it is amazing that Notre Dame has stood for so long. And will continue to stand.

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yep, looked it up: glass melts at something like 1400 degrees F, but lead melts at around 650 degrees F. The lead probably gave way and dropped the glass to the ground before the glass itself melted.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: We’ve got his double cheeseberder on the hottest part of the grill to get it as well done as possible. We’ve got his double order of fries cooking and his extra large diet coke and pitcher of refills ready to go. We’re giving it everything we’ve got…//

  133. 133
    JPL says:

    Trump thinks “it was started by renovations, but not sure what’s that about “……hmmmm Then he laughed at something else and NBC news cut away.

  134. 134
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    the stained glass windows have melted. They are no longer there.

    Sobbing.

  135. 135

    @Mnemosyne:

    The lead probably melted as well.

    The lead melts at a much lower temperature than the glass.

  136. 136
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: And this was part of the problem with where the fire broke out. It was up high, where it was hard to reach, even if firefighters were on site almost immediately. And the roof is lead. Specifically:
    https://www.eutouring.com/facts_notre_dame_cathedral.html

    The nave structure supports a lead roof that comprises 1326 tiles that are 5mm thick each and weigh in at 210,000kg.

  137. 137
    Jeffro says:

    @JPL: How long do we think before he hints that “…some people think it could have been an attack of some kind…possibly by THOSE people…I hope Macron looks into it because people are talking…”?

    Or did he already do that while I was typing?

  138. 138
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I was in Reims last month. The cathedral looks spectacular. They have a Marc Chagall window, too.

    Also in Reims, and very worth a look: La Musée de la Reddition. Where the Germans surrendered unconditionallly to the Allies. May 7, 1945.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower’s war room. All the maps still on the walls. The maps of railroads. The casualty report. Maps upon maps, and uniforms too. Very interesting.

  139. 139
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That sounds very likely since that’s considered the best practice for places that are difficult to prevent fires in. There will be many losses between the windows, the walls, and anything that was hung on the walls, but historical objects that were not directly being used are probably well away from the fire.

    This is pretty much any museum or historical location’s worst nightmare. There will be lots and lots of revised action plans and upgraded facilities at other places in the wake of this.

  140. 140
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    This is so sad. Liberation has some great pix here – scroll down to see the inside of the roof before renovation, so you can see how it could have spread so fast.

    When we were in Paris in December, we didn’t bother to go into ND because we’d been there so many times. It seemed eternal.

  141. 141
    Nicole says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I went with my aunt, in 2000, I think it was. She died in 2015. I think I’ll be spending a lot of tonight looking through my photos from our visit to Notre Dame and weeping. I was holding it together until I saw on Twitter someone posted a picture of the gargoyles and then I lost it.

    Aujourd’hui, nous sommes tous parisiens.

  142. 142
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: The stained glass windows were all replaced about a hundred years ago. The spire that went up and collapsed was not the original spire. It’ll be rebuilt. It is too important to the municipal identity of Paris and the national identity of France to not rebuild it.

  143. 143
    catclub says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    old joke along the lines of “This is Benjamin Franklin’s original bed. Every nail and stick of wood has been replaced at least 7 times.”

    with wood from the true cross if it is a catholic bed.

  144. 144
    AliceBlue says:

    I’m sitting here with tears streaming.

  145. 145
    Aleta says:

    1000 year old wood, so

    What a tragedy.

  146. 146
    gvg says:

    @Aretino: According to reports, A lot of it is limestone, which can burn. The roof supports are wood. I do recall some Cathedrals had wood painted to look like stone in places. 800 year old wood probably burns well.
    The streets are narrow and the firetrucks had trouble getting there. Apartments and other buildings are really close and threatened by the fire too.
    I expect they will try to improve its safety when they rebuild. At least this building is so photographed and studied, they can probably do a really good restoration.

  147. 147
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: They’re reporting that first responders are trying to save/salvage the art and other important historical pieces on the inside. Apparently, since the old growth timber frame is alight, they’ve decided they can’t put it out safely, just contain it’s spread and save what they can from the inside for when they rebuild.

  148. 148
    JPL says:

    @Jeffro: Believe me.. He wanted to.

    @AliceBlue: I know.

  149. 149

    @Jeffro:

    How long do we think before he hints that “…some people think it could have been an attack of some kind…possibly by THOSE people…I hope Macron looks into it because people are talking…”?

    If not Trump, some people will do this. We all should do our best to stomp it out. The thread on fighting fires that I posted upthread makes it clear that once the roof caught fire, all they could do was to let it go and keep it from spreading to other structures. And the fact that it started on the roof makes it pretty clear that it happened during the restoration work.

  150. 150
    Aleta says:

    @AliceBlue: here too

  151. 151
  152. 152
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:
    @Adam L Silverman:

    Lead has the lowest melting temperature of any metal. They probably had to clear a pretty wide space around the cathedral to prevent anyone from being injured by the melting roof.

    At that point, they probably have to try to break the roof in to redirect the molten lead rather than risk anyone being injured.

    (To be clear, I ain’t no fire expert, but I know a small amount about how museums and archives deal with fire suppression and emergency plans.)

  153. 153
    rikyrah says:

    My heart is breaking. It just hurts.

    850 years of history…:( :( :(

  154. 154
    MomSense says:

    My cousin was there today. She posted photos right before the fire.

  155. 155
    MomSense says:

    @rikyrah:

    I’m crying about the gargoyles.

  156. 156
    MattF says:

    @Mnemosyne: Um, open to nerd attack. Tables say tin and bismuth have lower melting points, and, of course, mercury is liquid at room temperature. Also, solder (lead + tin) has an even lower melting point than either of its components.

  157. 157
    WaterGirl says:

    Heartbreaking loss for all the world, but particularly France. If this were in the US, I would predict an immense amount of finger pointing. This being France, I don’t know whether to expect that or not.

  158. 158
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I know the windows are “modern.” I know they can and will be replaced, as will the ruined cathedral itself. But they were breathtakingly gorgeous and usually, when I think of ND, it’s the rose window that comes to mind. So I cried for the loss of beauty, and memories.

  159. 159
    cain says:

    @raven:
    We all know that our president is going to open his mouth and say something because it will get him attention. The press are definitely going to ask him something because it gives them attention. Meh.

  160. 160
    Tazj says:

    @Mnemosyne: I didn’t realize that either.

    @SiubhanDuinne: I was fortunate enough to take a tour there once years ago with my husband. This was couple years after we were married and before we had children.
    I feel sad for the people of Paris and France.

  161. 161
    rikyrah says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    the stained glass windows have melted. They are no longer there.

    Sobbing.

    Cries don’t even begin to express it.

    just can’t…

  162. 162
    SenyorDave says:

    My wife and I went to Paris in 2005. Notre Dame was my favorite place, and is my favorit building I have ever visited. Watching this is stunningly depressing. To hear that the stained glass has all melted is truly awful. I hope that when this is all over they can rebuild as much as possible. Maybe out of this disaster there will be a unifying point for the French people, since they seem to have a xenophobic element among a segment of the population.

  163. 163
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    I’ve only been to Paris once (1979) and was fortunate enough to see Notre-Dame. It was my first trip abroad and I remember putting my hand on one of the columns, blackened with age, and trying to wrap my head around the tact that something I’d seen only in pictures was real. With everyone else, my heart breaks, and I can’t stop crying.

  164. 164
    raven says:

    @cain: He already did, see above.

  165. 165
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yep, that was going to be one of the first priorities once they assessed the fire. They’ve probably been able to assemble an army of archivists and conservators from surrounding locations to receive the objects and arrange emergency storage.

    To a certain extent, saving the building itself is low priority, because it can be rebuilt (and has been rebuilt multiple times over the centuries). The stained glass can be re-created. An original tapestry or painting cannot, so saving those things takes priority over walls and pews that can be rebuilt.

  166. 166

    @gvg:

    According to reports, A lot of it is limestone, which can burn.

    Limestone does not burn the way fuel burns. People do talk about burning limestone, but that means heating it hot enough that it decomposes into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide. That reaction is endothermic (consumes energy) rather than exothermic (releases energy) like a wood fire.

  167. 167
    Momus says:

    You will never guess who was first in stupid on this one. Give up?

    Dear Leader

    “So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”

  168. 168
    Aleta says:

    Thanks Cheryl for the links, information.

  169. 169

  170. 170
    jimmiraybob says:

    @cain:

    Trump’s already tweeted for the fire fighters to hurry up. He’ll likely be tweeting later tonight that had the stupid Frenchies listened to him they would have save it, Anybody know where MS-13 was when this started? Hillary? Deep State? Obama?

  171. 171
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MomSense:

    OMG. Please share with us later what else she has to say from her up-close vantage. I can’t even imagine.

  172. 172
    raven says:

    @gvg: 800 year old wood takes a great deal of heat to ignite. We had fires in the attic of our 100 year old house and the joists are charred but they didn’t ignite. On the other hand, once they do. . . .

  173. 173
    Nicole says:

    @Jeffro: Oh, CNN was already on the “to early to say yet, and well, it’s not really the kind of thing that would be high on the list of terrorist targets, but…”

    AUGH.

  174. 174
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Oh,god! Those glorious windows! I’m in tears.

  175. 175

    @Mnemosyne:

    Lead has the lowest melting temperature of any metal.

    Mercury would like a word.

  176. 176
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattF:

    Well, sure, but nobody uses tin or bismuth to hold stained glass together, silly! 🙃

    And there were probably quite a few solders on those lead strips, so that point about the solder points having an even lower melting point is well-taken.

  177. 177
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Jeffro: He’s already questioning “renovations”. He’s such a moron.

  178. 178
    Luthe says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: I almost didn’t go, but I made time for a quick visit the last morning I was there. A wiser decision than I knew, apparently.

  179. 179
    Mike in NC says:

    Fat Bastard to award Tiger Woods the Medal of Freedom, because there is nothing more important than fucking GOLF!

  180. 180
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @SenyorDave: To me the spire of Notre Dame, much more than the Eiffel Tower has always said: “ok, you’re in Paris now.” Just devastating.

  181. 181
    JPL says:

    Google tells me that the stained glass was replaced in the 19th century.

  182. 182
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike in NC:
    He does check off two big boxes on Trump’s clipboard: golf and philandering.

    Horrible about Notre Dame!

  183. 183
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I’m not going to tell you not to be sad, but hopefully they were able to save many of the objects that are more portable and will be able to restore the cathedral. The windows can be recreated and replaced, but there are a lot of objects on display that are literally irreplaceable.

    In general, Paris has very well-run museums and historical locations, so I would not be surprised if they had a priority list at hand to help guide the first responders to the highest priority rescues.

  184. 184
    JPL says:

    @JPL: I can’t edit, but I imagine they will be able to recreate them.

  185. 185
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Let me know when you build your stained glass window held together by strips of mercury. 😏

  186. 186
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    He’s already questioning “renovations”. He’s such a moron.

    I wonder if he’ll bring up the modern miracle of the sprinkler system?

  187. 187
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, I cannot even BEGIN to imagine a scenario where restoration and rebuilding work does NOT start as soon as the ashes cool. France is far too proud of its cultural and artistic heritage to allow that to happen. Any French politician who even began to hint that it would be too expensive to rebuild Notre Dame would probably be attacked by street mobs.

  188. 188
    cynthia ackerman says:

    @Martin:

    I worked a fire in a garbage dump a couple years ago. Two SEATs (single-engine air tankers) put out what three municipal fire departments couldn’t.

  189. 189
    trollhattan says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Environmental cleanup will be no small challenge.

  190. 190
    MomSense says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    She’s my youngest son’s age so apparently they are DMing. It’s school vacation week so she went on a class trip.

  191. 191
    MattF says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not just that. Paris is at the center of French cultural consciousness, and Notre Dame is at the center of Paris. Rebuilding is a no-brainer.

  192. 192
    Kelly says:

    Someone is probably cursing their bad luck at plan to release their version of the Mueller report Thursday instead of today. I’m sure the apparatchiks think that way.

  193. 193
    Mnemosyne says:

    @trollhattan:

    All. That. Melted. Lead. 😱

  194. 194
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Nicole: Actually someone attempted to molotov cocktail it a couple of years ago. A young woman was arrested recently for planning to burn it down to attract a boyfriend. She’s, to be blunt, mentally ill, but because she’s Muslim, the odious Robert Spencer and his fellow travelers were all over that as Agence France Press had an article about her this AM. And someone had burned some older, but not this old, churches in other parts of France. And remember, the trial run for 9-11, which occurred on Christmas Day 1994, was the hijacking of four airplanes with the intention to crash them into landmarks in Paris such as the Champs Elysee, the Arc de Triomphe, the presidential palace, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

  195. 195
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Listening to NPR’s “Here and Now,” and their Paris-based correspondent, Eleanor Beardsley, sounded as though she was having trouble choking back the tears during her live report.

    A former boss, and good friend, has been posted to the Canadian Embassy in Paris for the past four years. He and his family adore the city. They — obviously along with all of France and people around the world — must be utterly devastated.

  196. 196
    Aleta says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    The work of masters of a craft who were taught by masters taught by others … can’t be replaced. It’s more than material and design; there’s a succession of lives in the work, each spending most of their life dedicated to a craft. The wood joinery too. It’s individual and it also contains teaching through time. And it ‘holds’ the tools, many of which were handmade by individuals for particular jobs.

    eta craft has turned into a fancier word now than it was thought of when more work was done by hand and most people did it

  197. 197
    chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Lot of old growth wood on the inside.

    A lot of oak and other hardwood, dried for years if not centuries. Oak is one of the hottest burning woods there is. I keep some for the really cold nights here but have to be careful with it. Warped the cast iron doors on my stove once.

    This is a tragedy. Fortunately the pope has lots of money but this will take decades.

  198. 198
    Nicole says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, but Cuomo started speculating without any sort of evidence, or even reason. Though cleverly couched in, “I mean, it’s not likely, BUT…” Plenty of tragedy in the moment without an overpaid talking head fear-mongering.

  199. 199
  200. 200
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cynthia ackerman: You have email!

  201. 201
    catclub says:

    @Mike in NC: Tiger must leave Trump Free to Cheat at Golf.
    I figure someone told him he had to give one to a black person, and Cain had already gotten the Fed nom.

  202. 202
    NotMax says:

    @Gravenstone

    It was (erroneous and sloppy choice) shorthand to signify it is not flame unaffected – marble will crack and also decompose (if there’s enough, affecting air pressure and accelerating a fire). Also, in a structure such as Notre Dame, high heat can cause any stone to crack and compromise the mortar, weakening the integrity of the structure.

    Cannot speak specifically to Notre Dame but it was not uncommon for what look like solid stone supports have wooden reinforcement within.

  203. 203
    catclub says:

    @MattF:

    Paris is at the center of French cultural consciousness, and Notre Dame is at the center of Paris. Rebuilding is a no-brainer.

    Where better to ignore their muslim minority population.

  204. 204
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Mike in NC: It’s pretty seriously weird. Tiger isn’t known for anything other than playing golf well and cheating on his wife.

    While this would endear him to Trump, what about it deserves a medal of freedom?

  205. 205
    Mnemosyne says:

    @catclub:

    Weird as it seems to North Americans, in Paris the prosperous white population lives in the heart of the city and the minority populations get forced out to the suburbs. So, yes, the most powerful elites in the country will want “their” landmark rebuilt despite being officially a secular country.

  206. 206
    Miss Bianca says:

    Oh, God. Starting scrolling through photos and then just felt sick, like I was watching someone get tortured.

  207. 207

    @Mnemosyne:

    Let me know when you build your stained glass window held together by strips of mercury.

    Yeah, yeah, it’s not a practical material for the purpose, but it does have a lower melting point. More to the point, tin also has a lower melting point than lead, and it was certainly available in the middle ages, unlike the other low melting point metals I mentioned. Pure tin is not a practical material for some odd metallurgical reasons*, but tin alloys (aka pewter) might have been used.

    *It suffers from an effect known as “tin pest”. Tin has two forms that are stable at commonly available temperatures, beta tin, which is metallic and is nicely malleable and ductile, and alpha tin, which is non-metallic and tends to fall apart. The transition temperature is a bit below room temperature, but it happens very slowly at that temperature. The colder it gets, though, the faster the transition. That means a stained glass window held together by tin might spontaneously fall apart during a cold winter, which would be really bad. Alloying the tin protects it against tin pest, which is why so much tin is used in the form of pewter or other alloys.

  208. 208
    janesays says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Effectively breaking the color barrier as an African-American in one of the last sports that had always been completely dominated by white men and becoming one of the greatest of all-time. There were black golfers on the tour prior to Tiger, but none of them came close to accomplishing what he accomplished so early in his career.

    I’m not a big fan of the dude, but he definitely holds a remarkable place in sports history.

  209. 209
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @janesays: never mind that tiger is only one fourth black (and one fourth white, and two fourths Asian)

  210. 210

    @Steve in the ATL:

    never mind that tiger is only one fourth black

    Race is a social construct. By the odd rules of race in America, Tiger is black no matter the actual details of his ancestry.

  211. 211
    J R in WV says:

    @Aretino:

    IIRC, this is a stone vaulted, tile roofed structure.

    Actually, all these stone buildings have tons of wood inside to strengthen the structure.

  212. 212
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Roger Moore: ah, so we’re playing by Louisiana rules!

  213. 213
    cain says:

    @Nicole:

    @Jeffro: Oh, CNN was already on the “to early to say yet, and well, it’s not really the kind of thing that would be high on the list of terrorist targets, but…”

    Fucking CNN, everything is a horse race to them!

  214. 214
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The nave structure supports a lead roof that comprises 1326 tiles that are 5mm thick each and weigh in at 210,000kg.

    And here I thought old hot type newspaper plants had a lot of lead for typecasting !! And just in the roof of the Nave !! I’m pretty much an atheist, with a little paganism wrapped in, yet this cultural loss has me off and on in tears!

  215. 215
    janesays says:

    @Steve in the ATL: If you want to get technical, Woods is probably 3/8 black – his paternal grandfather was African-American, and his paternal grandmother was half black. And Barack Obama is only one-half black if we’re going that route.

  216. 216
    janesays says:

    Anyway, my point is that of all that horrible things Cheetolini has done, giving Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom is pretty far down the list. Obama gave the medal to plenty of people whose fame is entirely due to their athletic prowess, as did almost every president before him. The only thing particularly noteworthy about Tiger Woods getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom is that it’s happening in 2019 rather than in 2039.

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