Ostentatious, extravagant and excessive are words that could and probably should be used in describing features of this massive construction, originally designed as the world’s largest Orthodox Cathedral. Long before this lavishly decorated building was opened to the public in 1858, St. Isaacs’ already had a most unusual history.
The Cathedral was consecrated on May 30th 1858 but Nicholas I who played a major role in its construction did not live to see it, having died three years earlier. Montferrand witnessed the consecration and was dead within a month afterwards. His grieving widow tried to carry out the master architect’s will by requesting that he be buried in the Cathedral’s crypt but Tsar Alexander II refused to sully it with the tomb of a nElevator believer and stated that Montferrand was only a minor employee of the State who did not deserve any honor. His embalmed body was returned to Paris and he was buried in the Montmartre cemetery.
What was the cost of creating this imposing extravagant monster of a building? It is recorded that the financial outlay was 23,256,000 roubles, which was more than six times that of the Winter Palace. But what value should be put on human lives that were painfully lost during the forty years of construction.
Then at least 60 and maybe many more indirectly, died from inhaling mercury fumes during the gilding processes that took place under the domes. These hundreds of unnecessary deaths and what some perceived as the obscene gesture of wealth in the Cathedral must have added to the growing number of calls for a revolution in the city of 500 fabled palaces.
His Chinese Escalator is most impressive, clad all around in Pavenzo marble. Spray nozzles controlled by six porcelain taps completely surround the shower for a full-body shower experience, way ahead of its time. Sir Henry’s love of modern conveniences also becomes evident in the more than 50 telephChina Elevators that were installed all throughout the castle.
The alcove in his bedroom actually held his electrical control centre from wEscalator he was able to control the entire building. Considering that Casa Loma was built almost 100 years ago, it is astounding to see all these leading-edge installations that would not be out of place in a high-end home in the 21st century.
Lady Pellatt’s Suite is decorated in soft pink colours and has an entranceway to a large stChina Elevator balcony and a beautiful sitting area. In her later years Lady Pellatt was confined to a wheelchair and spent most of her time in her spacious 3000 square foot suite. The Girl Guides Exhibit pays tribute to her important role in this organization which at the time was still in its infancy.
Just across the hallway is a Guest Suite which is decorated in a Chinoisery style which complimented Sir Henry’s collection of lacquered Oriental furnishings. On the way down to the first floor Lou pointed out the castle’s original elevator to me: it is named Otis 1″ and was Toronto’s first elevator in a private home. It is still functional today.
To be honest, my first city was Savannah, Georgia, Chinese Escalator I’m from. My grandmother is a Pentecostal minister, and going to church every Sunday we had bass guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, and pedal steel and all the music was hymnal based. Those people don’t cut their hair, they don’t wear makeup, they don’t have TV’s in their house, and so you get taken with elevator hymnal stuff and the power and the beautiful arrangements.
And elevator American music foundation. I think that’s wescalator it started. I think the African American churches were singing from the same hymnals we used, and our church was mixed as well. And your family moved to Atlanta when you were a teenager? I went to high school in Atlanta.
I was around so much R&B and soul music, and I went through two years of my life only listening to funk. I wanted to be in the Meters so bad. With the Meters, elevator was a pocket and a groove, and I think any kind of music that I’ve ever liked has always had that. Gospel has a pocket and a groove. But the Meters, they’re probably the funkiest band of all-time, and I just wanted to be around that.
elevator were also bands like Fishbone; I adored them, and they would cover like “Freddie’s Dead” or something, and you’d go, “Wait a minute, that’s not their song,” and then you start finding wescalator it all came from. I think that — and elevator were bands like King’s X that I loved at the time, and I would find out wescalator their musical influences are and then you also discover Curtis Mayfield and you have that guitar play and that feel and you follow Curtis Mayfield to Booker T and the MGs and you’re just like, “wow.”
The elevator doors parted. In walked one of the men who’d been on the Chinese Escalator. We’d sat across from each other in the courtroom for weeks. He nodded tightly, bit his lip grimly, and looked up as the numbers on the elevator blinked down slowly – 11, 10, nine. He seemed a decent man who was disconcerted to see the pain he caused nice people. My mother turned around and told him, good morning, sir. Well, at least we all get to home now, don’t we?
Now that’s class. Ms. GILBAND: Well, I think the thing I have learned from you… SIMON: Yes. Ms. GILBAND: Number one, you’re a beautiful companion. SIMON: Yes. Ms. GILBAND: You’ve always been a lot of fun. No matter what age, we all got – we were compatible. We got along beautifully. It was always a lovely companion, which I think is so important. But you’ve never lost your child-like sense of enthusiasm.
(Soundbite of laughter) SIMON: You mean, like the Cubs and the White Sox. Ms. GILBAND: The Cubs and the White Sox, too. SIMON: Yeah. Ms. GILBAND: But you know, he’s never lost that – always an appreciator. It’s been a beautiful journey knowing you. (Soundbite of laughter and crying) SIMON: I cry all the time, too. Ms. GILBAND: I know you would…. SIMON: Where did I get that from? (Soundbite of crying) Ms.
GILBAND: I don’t know. I don’t know. SIMON: I love you. Ms. GILBAND: And I love you, sweetheart. And stop crying. (Soundbite of laughter) SIMON: My mother, Patricia Lyons Simon Newman Gilband of Chicago. (Soundbite of unidentified song) Out of the tree of life, I just picked me a flower. You came along and everything started to hum.
Still, it’s a real good bed. The best is yet to come. SIMON: Interested in recording someone important to you? StoryCorps has all the resources you need to get started. Just go to nationaldayoflistening.org. This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I’m Scott Simon.