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Our Times: Orange County Communities

San Juan Capistrano

March 10, 2000|Kenneth Ma, (949) 248-2157

The final phase of restoration work on the sanctuary dome of Mission San Juan Capistrano's Great Stone Church began Thursday with the installation of two 38-foot, high-strength tension rods.

A 135-foot crane was brought in to insert the 1.25-inch-diameter rods to reinforce the sagging main dome of a church that was completed in 1806 with the labor of Juaneno Indians under the direction of Spanish padres. It is one of the oldest buildings in the state.

Dome repair is part of a $7-million restoration and preservation project to stabilize the church's crumbling dome and walls.

Although the mission received public funding from the county, state and federal governments last year, an addtional $1.5 million to $2 million is needed to complete the work, according to restoration manager John Loomis of Thirtieth Street Architects Inc. in Newport Beach.

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