A sole late-night hooligan destroyed nine large glass windows at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco Friday, leaving an estimated two tons of shattered glass to later be hauled off.
The Chronicle reported that the suspected vandal — who was spotted by one eye witness around 1:30 a.m. Friday evening — fled the crime scene prior to police being called. Broken at what appears to be eye level, on-site glass glazier Kent Kester thinks a mallet or bat might've been used by the criminal to demolish the nine large, iconic panels.
Vandal breaks 9 massive windows at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco https://t.co/JCHPJHbVPl— Suzanne Espinosa (@suzyesp) February 1, 2020
“It’s like somebody came up and just smashed it, like that,” Kester said outside the church Friday afternoon to the Chronicle's Megan Cassidy, as he pantomimed the act of swinging a bat.
On-site workers removed an estimated two or more tons of broken glass away from the 1111 Gough Street address.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a half-million dollars," he added, noting the repair will take several days; each of the panels measures around 105 inches tall, 96 inches wide, and weighs about 470 lbs. Kester says that it'll take at least three days alone to set the bronze tempered glass.
Thankfully, the defacer's act won't affect the church's schedule, as service at the primary church of the Archdiocese of San Francisco will carry on unimpeded; the missing glass panels have since been replaced by wooden boards. Mike Brown, Director of Communication for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, expressed that a glass panel was broken last year, as well.
Brown added, too, that “plenty of security cameras [are being] examined right now" to gather more information on the incident and to help identify the yet-named culprit.
Today's modern-day St. Mary's Cathedral was redesigned — courtesy of local architects John Michael Lee, Paul A. Ryan, and Angus McSweeney — and blessed in 1971, capable of seating 2,400 churchgoers.