Have you heard the legend of the statue of St. Paul that stands above the chapel's east portico? It was told to children in early-to-mid nineteenth century New York City: when St. Paul heard the City Hall clock strike twelve midnight, he flew down to the water pump for a drink—and if you happened to be passing on the street at that exact moment, you would see him fly.
There were no confirmed sightings of St. Paul in mid-flight until last night, when, with a little help, he flew down from his perch. After his flight, he took a more conventional journey by truck to the offices of a conservation company.
The statue of St. Paul is thought to be original to the 1766 church building. It's is seven feet, seven inches tall, and is made of out oak grown in the American northeast. The last major restoration of the statue was in 1929-1930. Building Conservation Associates and Tatti Conservation are leading the 2015 conservation and restoration work.
First, the bird netting that covers the east portico was removed.
Simultaneously, riggers and steeplejacks from ColeNYC worked from inside St. Paul’s attic to secure the statue with rigging.
Once the statue was secured, the metal bracing that held the statue to the walls of the niche was cut.
Next, the statue was securely strapped to rigging connected to the arm of a knuckle-boom crane parked on Fulton Street, and removed from the rigging connecting it to St. Paul’s Chapel. The riggers and knuckle-boom operator communicated via headset.
And then, to the surprise and delight of pedestrians, St. Paul finally flew.