If you’ve travelled along 3rd past Van Ness in the last week, maybe you’ve noticed that the entrance to St. Brendan Catholic Church is covered in scaffolding? Curiosity got the better of us and the story is better than we had originally anticipated.
The church has had a family of crows nesting in the little domed area at the top of the front of the church – inside the area where the statue of St. Brendan stands looking west over the neighborhood. The bi-products of the crows had become overwhelming and time had come to remove the nest.
So, several months ago, the church started the project of cleaning out that statue area. This process started after all the babies had been hatched and left the nest. When the workers got up there to remove the “nest”, it turned out that it was actually a 4 foot tall nest! Crows do not use last year’s nest… they just build their new nest on top of the old nest(s). As you can imagine, nest removal was a big project.
It was at that time that workers discovered major cracks in and around that domed area above where the statue stands. Weathering has taken a toll and rusted rebar has forced cracks that make the area extremely dangerous. Engineers were called in and a plan for refurbishing was put in place.
PDF Picture of St. Brendan Church Dome Repair 2011
Currently, the workers are removing the domed stoned canopy above the statue. The scaffolding will come down before Christmas and work will take place to reconstruct a light weight version of the domed area– one that is more durable, but not so heavy. Work will continue after the New Year to finish the project (including scaffolding going back up again). While they are up there, the workers will do some weather-proofing and re-grouting.
An interesting side note…we asked what measures the workers took to make sure the crows don’t continue nesting there, causing the same build up of problems in the future. St. Brendan’s has installed a very bird-friendly system of speakers that emit the sound of a bird of prey. No need for mesh netting or metal spikes that can cause harm to the birds. The sound of a hawk always does the trick when it comes to getting other birds to keep their distance!
St. Brendan Catholic Church is a Gothic-Revival style Church built in 1927.
Mary has lived in the Hancock Park area for over 20 years - including homes in Larchmont Village and Windsor Square. Mary has lived in some great places in her life - but none compare to the convenience and majesty of our neighborhood. For Mary, the neighborhood has been a wonderful home to her large, extended family...at one time she had family members living on seven different Hancock Park area blocks! Larchmont Buzz is a labor of love - built to celebrate the neighborhood and to elevate the conversation in the area.
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Love this buzz!