Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Darth Vader Gargoyle on US National Cathedral [NOT humor!]
http://www.cathedral.org/cathedral/discover/darth.shtml ^ | 4/28/3

Posted on 04/28/2003 12:34:01 PM PDT by NativeNewYorker

As Washington National Cathedral approached completion, the west towers rose towards the sky, striking toward heaven. During the building a startling idea was hatched: hold a competition for children to design decorative sculpture for the Cathedral.

To Find Darth Vader you have to leave the building through the ramp entrance. This is located at the northwest corner of the nave, through the double wooden doors of Lincoln Bay. Go down the ramp, and step into the parking lot. Then, turn around and look back up at the tower closest to you. He is almost impossible to see without the assistance of binoculars.

Way way way up, almost at the top of the tower is a gablet, or small peaked roof, located between the two huge louvered arches. At the bottom of each slope of this gablet is a carved grotesque. Darth Vader is on the north, or right-hand, side. There is a carved skull situated on a gablet much closer to the ground which many people often mistake for Darth Vader. From this skull, Darth Vader is up and to the left.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: cathedral; starwars
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-99 next last

1 posted on 04/28/2003 12:34:01 PM PDT by NativeNewYorker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker
My favorite gargoyles are the Chrysler hood ornaments on the Chrysler Building:


2 posted on 04/28/2003 12:36:33 PM PDT by eastsider
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker
Did they pay royalties to Spielberg?
3 posted on 04/28/2003 12:38:28 PM PDT by coloradan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: coloradan
I was wondering that myself.
4 posted on 04/28/2003 12:39:01 PM PDT by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: coloradan
If they did, they should pay me too. I had as much to do with Vader as Spielberg did....(it was George Lucas)
5 posted on 04/28/2003 12:42:27 PM PDT by Mr. Bird
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: coloradan
I doubt it since Spielberg had nothing to do with Star Wars.

You're thinking of George Lucas.

6 posted on 04/28/2003 12:43:00 PM PDT by LenS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker
The link is 404-compliant from here.
7 posted on 04/28/2003 12:43:00 PM PDT by strela ("... you're lucky you still have your brown paper bag, small change ...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker
The Washington Post Sunday Magazine did a wonderful piece some years back on the stonecutters who worked on the Cathedral and their impish sense of humor. The cutters are all Italian (of course). Many of them were brought over to work on the Cathedral and worked there until retirement. The tradition of stone cutters producing grotesques is an old one. Many of the carvings parody themselves and their friends.
8 posted on 04/28/2003 12:44:09 PM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker
Chisel him off of there.. along with any Lord Of the Rings sculptures you might find along the way.

I hate Star Wars zealots almost as bad as I hate the LOTR crowd.

9 posted on 04/28/2003 12:45:52 PM PDT by Jhoffa_ (Sammy to Frodo: "Get out. Go sleep with one of your whores!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LenS; Mr. Bird
LOL! Spielberg, Lucas - all the same to me, evidently!

Were royalties paid, to whomever would be the appropriate person?
10 posted on 04/28/2003 12:46:35 PM PDT by coloradan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: strela
The link/site is being slashdotted, hence the difficulty in getting in.
11 posted on 04/28/2003 12:46:39 PM PDT by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Jhoffa_
Good idea!

Gollum would make a great gargoyle.
12 posted on 04/28/2003 12:47:49 PM PDT by Restorer (TANSTAAFL)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Jhoffa_
I have friends who are so wrapped up in the LOTR thing that it makes one want to scream, "For God's sake! You're 45 years old! They're not real, already!"
13 posted on 04/28/2003 12:49:18 PM PDT by annyokie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Restorer
Damn you, Restorer!
14 posted on 04/28/2003 12:51:18 PM PDT by Jhoffa_ (Sammy to Frodo: "Get out. Go sleep with one of your whores!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker
There is a long tradition of stone-cutters demonstrating creativity when it comes to gargoyles.

It is a bit irritating, however, that a popular culture image should be used; especially one associated with a pseudo-religion "The Force", etc.

When I was attending a service at Washington Cathedral in the 1980's they had a calypso band performing. The tune was John Lennon's "Imagine", which is a vertitable atheist hymm.

15 posted on 04/28/2003 12:52:22 PM PDT by Plutarch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annyokie
LOL!

Oh, I know..you're not exagerating a bit.

It's like a mass mind control scenario with that bunch.

16 posted on 04/28/2003 12:53:29 PM PDT by Jhoffa_ (Sammy to Frodo: "Get out. Go sleep with one of your whores!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Plutarch
It can't be much worse than the large carving of a naked woman on the exterior above the main entrance.
17 posted on 04/28/2003 12:54:03 PM PDT by Grand Old Partisan (You can read about my history of the GOP at www.republicanbasics.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Plutarch
Yeah. What struck me was that this is about as UN-Christian as you can get. I'm *Jewish*, and I find it creepy.
18 posted on 04/28/2003 12:55:15 PM PDT by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker; coloradan
Not to be a complete nerd but you're thinking of George Lucas, not Spielberg.

Lucasfilm's attorneys are probably circling even as we speak.
19 posted on 04/28/2003 12:55:35 PM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker

Personal Statement: Patrick Plunkett began his career in 1962 at South Dorset Technical College in Weymouth, England, where, at the age of 15, he was apprenticed as a stone cutter. He gained his first restoration experience in Nottingham working on country churches and city banks, then graduated to the prestigious restoration team for the 700-year old Salisbury Cathedral, where, over a tenure of 7 years, he gained invaluable restoration skills and instructed new apprentices in the arts of traditional masonry. In 1975, he was offered a position as stone carver at Washington National Cathedral, where he worked under the careful eye of two master carvers on such projects as Frederick Hart's three "Creation" sculptures over the west doors. Mr. Plunkett remained at Washington Cathedral until its completion and dedication in 1990. He was invited to do part-time restoration work on the White House in 1986, accepting a full-time position as Superintendent of Stone Restoration in 1991.

20 posted on 04/28/2003 12:56:11 PM PDT by sam_paine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jhoffa_
I believe mind-control is the way to put it. Cripes! How can anyone wade through those tomes with all the elf songs and goofy spellings and allusions to who-knows-what?

"My preciousssssssssss..........." Gag!
21 posted on 04/28/2003 12:58:03 PM PDT by annyokie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Behind Liberal Lines
Has Steven Spielberg ever helped on the Star Wars movies?

No, he's a friend of George Lucas and he always sees the film. He's the first one we show the films to. We bring him up to give us some notes, but on Episode I and II he didn't give us any!

Rick McCallum, Star Wars producer

22 posted on 04/28/2003 1:02:06 PM PDT by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: annyokie
You only read the last two verses of the songs, that's where the background information necessary for the story is. Or you read them while listening to Led Zeplin because Zep built most of their songs around the beat structure of the songs in LOTR and if you find the right combo it's pretty cool (somebody showed me a list once, whoever made the list was waaaaaay too into both LOTR and Zep).

I never got into the cult aspect of LOTR, but it's a good story told pretty well.
23 posted on 04/28/2003 1:02:36 PM PDT by discostu (A cow don't make ham)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker
To Find Darth Vader you have to leave the building through the ramp entrance.

Not to be a spoilsport, but I am avoiding Darth Vader whenever possible. I don't go looking for trouble.

24 posted on 04/28/2003 1:05:01 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jhoffa_
"I hate Star Wars zealots almost as bad as I hate the LOTR crowd."

Hate is such a strong word. Even so, may the Force be with you. - Frodo Zealot
25 posted on 04/28/2003 1:07:11 PM PDT by thetruckster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: discostu
JRR Tolkein is no CS Lewis, IMHO. I'll take the Chronicles of Narnia over the Hobbit, LOTR anytime.

Led Zepplin does rule, however.
26 posted on 04/28/2003 1:08:21 PM PDT by annyokie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker
Thought so - I'll check it later.
27 posted on 04/28/2003 1:10:34 PM PDT by strela ("... you're lucky you still have your brown paper bag, small change ...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: thetruckster

You're right..

I have a bad habit of throwing the word "hate" around where I really mean anything from mild annoyance to sheer disgust.

I know I shouldn't, but I guess I just assume people can read my mind or something..

28 posted on 04/28/2003 1:11:01 PM PDT by Jhoffa_ (Sammy to Frodo: "Get out. Go sleep with one of your whores!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: thetruckster
Still, I would be hesitant to say that a star shone on our meeting with annyokie here...

Took for President
Pippin Lover

29 posted on 04/28/2003 1:12:56 PM PDT by Alkhin (He thinks I need keeping in order.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: annyokie
Sorry for the delay there, had to find disk 3 of the Zep box set...

While I'd definitely say Lewis was the more consistently readable author (sometimes Tolkein just drives me nuts with nearly unreadable stilted prose) I've always found LOTR to have a more interesting story than Narnia. Narnia definitely shouldn't be as overshadowed by LOTR as it is though.

Can't have Zep without LOTR, it's amazing what unabashed fanboys they were.
30 posted on 04/28/2003 1:13:49 PM PDT by discostu (A cow don't make ham)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Alkhin
CS Lewis is no Tolkien! His non-fiction writing is WONDERFUL, but like Tolkien, I find allegory a pathetic way of telling a story.

Sorry that you cannot appreciate such a Master of the English Language.

31 posted on 04/28/2003 1:14:52 PM PDT by Alkhin (He thinks I need keeping in order.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker
My personal favorite gargoyle is Hillary klintoon. I'd post a photo but everyone knows what it looks like and I don't want to frighten any children who might happen by.
32 posted on 04/28/2003 1:17:50 PM PDT by Dick Bachert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alkhin
I'm guesing you meant to address me and not yourself. I took an English major in college, BTW. Tolkein and Lewis are both great writers. Read Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters" and tell me it's not a scream and not nearly as difficult as Tolkien, who rivals James Joyce for unreadable prose, IMO.
33 posted on 04/28/2003 1:22:21 PM PDT by annyokie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: discostu
Narnia was written for Lewis' neice, Lucy, who was about six at the time he began the Chronicles (see dedication in "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe") thus, being a children's story. Both yarns come from the same place, however; the stuggle between good and evil. They are just aimed at different groups of readers.
34 posted on 04/28/2003 1:25:59 PM PDT by annyokie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: annyokie
Tolkien is only as unreadable as Joyce if you throw out Ulyses, Joyce's masterpiece of drunken typing. That is the yardstick by which unreadable prose is measured.
35 posted on 04/28/2003 1:28:48 PM PDT by discostu (A cow don't make ham)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: annyokie
You know they were contemporaries and close friends, right?
36 posted on 04/28/2003 1:30:39 PM PDT by johnb838 (Understand the root causes of American Anger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: johnb838
Yes, I did know that. Both very thoughtful men.
37 posted on 04/28/2003 1:33:46 PM PDT by annyokie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: discostu
I'll second that! I haul out "Ullyses" whenever I can't get to sleep. Three paragraphs, and I'm off to dreamland.
38 posted on 04/28/2003 1:35:28 PM PDT by annyokie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Dick Bachert
Brilliant! We can put the sinkmaster in the men's room...
39 posted on 04/28/2003 1:35:36 PM PDT by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker
Darth Vader Gargoyle on US National Cathedral

Darth Vader, a great statist symbol of fascism, socialism, and evil. Was the gargoyle created during the Clinton administration?

40 posted on 04/28/2003 1:35:45 PM PDT by BureaucratusMaximus (if we're not going to act like a constitutional republic...lets be the best empire we can be...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annyokie
I wont argue that there are some parts of Tolkien that verge on unreadable, simply by the fact that he changes 'voice' in the latter parts of the LOTR trilogy (I long ago gave up on the Silmarillion). And The Screwtape Letters is a book that is rare to come by, at least where I am from (barring that I order it off the internet)...I have a copy of Mere Christianity, which I have enjoyed immensely. However, I deem Tolkien above Lewis in regards to storytelling and fiction not just for its sheer volume, but incredible depth. To wit, going back to my comment about 'voice,' the style/manner/tone of speech for each character is of itself, and changes accordign to the situation. It was not until adulthood that I realized that each of the four hobbits have their own particular voice, and the segments are written as if they had been written by the particular hobbit and in his own particular voice. If you read up on sections involving King Theoden and Merry, Merry has a distinct voice and manner of his own. Now, I dont say that it is my FAVORITE voice. I think when Tolkien wrote in Pippin's voice, it was throught the most lyrical and the best voice Tolkien could have chosen. Frodo's perspective is vastly different than the others.

Having said all of that, this is not an observation I could make of the characters in Narnia. That is not to say there is not depth to those characters, because there is, but only on the level that a child supposedly could understand. Yet, even Tolkien wrote a children's book. It was called the Hobbit...and not nearly as 'elementary' as the writing of Lewis.

I read the Hobbit when I was ten, then went and read Lewis. As a child, I much preferred Tolkien.

having said all of THAT, I hear you on the unreadable prose parts. I will be the first to admit to you, taht to this day there are some parts of LOTR that I have not read with complete attention because of the stilted verbage and near mind-numbing formality of some of the writing. But reading LOTR, one can easily deduce that Tolkien loved writing the best when he was writing about the hobbits.

Best regards,
Alkhin

41 posted on 04/28/2003 1:35:51 PM PDT by Alkhin (He thinks I need keeping in order.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: sam_paine
He was invited to do part-time restoration work on the White House in 1986, accepting a full-time position as Superintendent of Stone Restoration in 1991.

"Superintendent of Stone Restoration" ?? I'm sorry, but that sounds like a made-up job if ther ever way one. You know, right up there with "script consultant" or "personal media consultant".

42 posted on 04/28/2003 1:40:08 PM PDT by yankeedame ("Born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: annyokie
My Sophomore English teacher told the story of the student he gave an A for a book report on the first chapter of Ullyses. He tried to talk her out of even trying to read that beast, his note on the book report was "you got farther than I ever did". I don't think he actually like Joyce, he only had us read two stories out of Dubliners one was the story about the pervert that whacks off in front of the kids, his comment at the end was that it was something to keep in mind when people start praising Joyce's "wonderful grasp of the Irish mind".
43 posted on 04/28/2003 1:43:03 PM PDT by discostu (A cow don't make ham)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: annyokie
JRR Tolkein is no CS Lewis, IMHO. I'll take the Chronicles of Narnia over the Hobbit, LOTR anytime

Ah yes, "where it's always winter but never Christmas".

44 posted on 04/28/2003 1:44:39 PM PDT by yankeedame ("Born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Alkhin
I have long been a fan of CS Lewis. You are correct about having to buy "The Screwtape Letters" from Amazon. "Mere Christianity is a masterpiece, as well. I am glad you enjoyed it.

Understand, I don't mean to bash Tolkien, his style just doesn't appeal to me. I tried hard to like Isaac Asimov ("I, Robot", et al) and had the same problem. I think you either love fantasy, science fiction and others or you plod through it thinking, "hey, I could be reading Viktor Frankl."
45 posted on 04/28/2003 1:50:05 PM PDT by annyokie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: annyokie
Now with Asimov you have to go by era. The older he got the more long winded and obtuse he got. I finally gave up with Prelude to Foundation, 100 pages in I had yet to find sign of a plot and just couldn't take it anymore. I think by that point the primary purpose of his writing was that he enjoyed seeing the words magically appear on the page. His early shorts were great, once he broke past 300 pages though forget it, all rubbish.
46 posted on 04/28/2003 1:53:20 PM PDT by discostu (A cow don't make ham)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Alkhin
So, since Jesus use parables, which are, essentially, allegory, was he pathetic?
47 posted on 04/28/2003 1:55:19 PM PDT by sharktrager
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: annyokie
ROFL!!! I hear yah! That is so true, too! As it so happened, when I set out to write fantasy way back when, I decided I did NOT want to be like Tolkien ie using the same formula. There has been a lot of deplorable fantasy that has come out since Tolkien...and where its not Tolkien, its a retelling of the Legends of King Arthur.

I have yet to finish Mere Christianity, as there is also Thomas Merton and Aquinas and St. Benedict that I have on my list to read. After these guys, Tolkien is escapism!!

48 posted on 04/28/2003 2:06:16 PM PDT by Alkhin (He thinks I need keeping in order.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: discostu
I tried like a dog to wade through "the Foundation Trilogy" because my first husband was such a fan. It was around that time that I determined that if you can't tell the whole story in ONE book, Bible excluded of course, than I'll read somthing else.

How many descriptions of instrument panels,etc does the reader need? We aren't flying the danged spaceship, after all!
49 posted on 04/28/2003 2:06:24 PM PDT by annyokie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: sharktrager
Jesus was the ONLY Master of Parables...and as the Son of God, was the ONLY one who could tell them with Perfect Harmony of Speech.

All others are pathetic in imitation.

Read up on what Tolkien has to say about the matter...I agree with him!

50 posted on 04/28/2003 2:08:24 PM PDT by Alkhin (He thinks I need keeping in order.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-99 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson