"Day by day
we awaited the arrival of the steam shovel. After what seemed an
delay it arrived on December 13 (1921). The cement footings were laid
at once before
the ground, which was of the firmest brick clay, had any chance
in. Then came the frost and we had to wait once more. the winter
mild and it was possible for the stone masons to lay the heavy
in the early part of January. They brought them up to ground
plans provided that the auditorium should be about eighteen feet
ground level. The City Hall, however, raised an objection. If this
was to be followed it would be necessary to provide ramps
stairways for the exits; and this in turn would mean the building of
wall that would have increased the price by many thousands of
Audsley met the difficulty by raising the whole building and
plans for a new front elevation to harmonize with the alteration. It
satisfactory change. The proximity of the neighboring houses really
desirable to place the school-rooms as high as possible.
auditorium was changed into a temporary Church. This is the
of its character. We had previously intended to hold services
on the first school floor. It was well that this difficulty occurred,
for it was
not many years before we needed more space for school rooms
floor would have provided.
24 the steel began to arrive. The building was to be completely
even the floors were to be nailed to a new cement with the use of
Practically no wood entered into the construction, or the
were built later on from gypsum.
Early in February the bricklayers strike was
settled. Our building was the first to profit by it; indeed, it was by persuading
Mr. Melody to withdraw from the Masters Builders Committee that we were
able to bring this happy solution of a very serious situation.
the month of February the brickwork progressed like magic,
great steel columns and beams were being erected. I tried my had
and was able to put in a few bolts under close supervision. I learnt
heavy work it was to sit aloft and bear the constant vibration of the
air riveter. The cement of the first floor was poured on March
remember the occasion very well. From our elevation we could see
river and there was a fresh breeze flowing. My friend, the
inspector, with whom I had once a controversy, was watching the
and he expressed his admiration for the strength of the
We left a
portion of the wall at the south-western corner below level so that
solemnity of the corner stone laying might take place in fair weather.
officiated on Palm Sunday. Before the ceremony the
Union requested the pleasure of making him an honorary
their guild to record the settlement of the strike. Bishop Crane
compelled to refuse this kind suggestion for reasons that are obvious.
appeared in his best and superintended the laying of the
stone that he had designed, a gift of the stone contractor. In it were
various articles destined to prove the date of the event....
By the end
of May the brickwork was finished and in another month the roof
was on. The
plastering began at once. On July 2 the first mass was said in
building on the middle floor. For one month the Sunday masses
celebrated in this inconvenient place, the floor being of unfinished
plasters completed their work in the Auditorium by the end of
August 6 mass was said here, the floor being still unfinished.
was practically in order by October 8 .
The motif of
a cross within a circle that appeared on the school's corner
been earlier used by Audsley on the family monument at Mount Hope
Yonkers, New York. It would serve as the marker of his final