Mike Haduck stone mason metro area. Learned craft from his father. His Youtube site,Mike Haduck Masonry has videotaped great stonework sites all over the world. From Ancient castles to the Cathedral here in Manhattan. His comments the fire at Notre’ Dame.
John C: Good morning, America. This is the Cats Roundtable, John Catsimatidis. It’s Easter Sunday. Last week, we had a tragedy. We had Notre Dame. Somebody tried to create a fire, possibly, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. There was a fire in St. John the Divine in New York last week. We have with us this morning Michael Haduck. Michael is a specialist in stonework. He’s a stonemason and cutter. For 64 years, him and his father were working on churches and the large stone structures. Good morning Mike Haduck. How are you this morning?
Michael Haduck: Very good John. It’s nice to be on your program.
John C: Well, thank you for coming on. First of all, give us a little bit of your history and what famous churches have you done in the past.
Michael Haduck: Well, I grew up in the stone masonry business and I would go with my father at a very early age to a lot of the quarries. We would buy the stone and we would bring the stone back and we would cut all the stone. Then, we would take them to the jobs and we’d install it. When YouTube came out, I started to get into filming a lot of these old churches, like the Cathedral of St. John’s in New York City. I just came back from Peru down in Cusco. I did Machu Picchu. I did the castles in Wales last year. It’s just my way of passing on the stone masonry trade. Now Notre Dame just burnt and I guess we’re gonna talk about that a little bit.
John C: Give us your estimation. How much damage have you heard has happened, and in your educated opinion, how long will it take to get it fixed?
Michael Haduck: I know that those trusses were built out of wood, and it’s my guess that it was white oak. When you work with white oak, it flakes. It doesn’t rot from the inside, it flakes from the outside. I’ve taken an educated guess, but I wouldn’t doubt that a lot of those, it would be like a fine dust that was flammable. If it was back in 1200 AD, when they started building it, I think they’d use steel. I know the whole loop is gone. I’ve seen videos of them going over the top. How long would it be? I think they should build it out of steel and mimic what it was like. It’s possible within five years, but it could also go 10 years. It depends on how fast they work on it.
John C: I understand St. Patrick’s Cathedral did a lot of renovations and that cost almost $200 million.
Michael Haduck: Right.
John C: How much do you think that Paris will cost us?
Michael Haduck: They took in a billion dollars already. I don’t think it’ll be a billion dollars, but there’s a lot more things wrong with Notre Dame than there is beyond the roof. A lot of the stone masonry, up near the window looking at it, I’ve seen some documentaries on it and a lot of that limestone, when it gets wet, it starts to disintegrate. That’s basically why they built the roof, because inside the cathedral they have what they call those stone vaults and if water penetrates into those stone vaults, it’ll actually form stalactites in it. So, the only reason the roof is there is to keep the water from getting to the limestone.
John C: Do you think the towers are okay? Is it just the wood that burned, do you think?
Michael Haduck: The report says if the fire kept going it would’ve got into the towers. I don’t know how bad it did, if it singed it or not, but they might be okay. I think that’s for the experts to get up there, take a good look around, and determine what they wanna do from that point. [crosstalk 00:04:11]
John C: What else would you like to say about Easter, about the work you do in the churches?
Michael Haduck: I guess you could say I’m a Christian and I respect the churches very much. The buildings are awesome. I think the cathedrals are, to me, I’ve looked at the castles and all these other. I looked at the pyramids in Egypt. The cathedrals had more work put into them. And I guess I could just say to everybody happy Easter.
John C: Now, let me ask you one more thing. It’s a trait that’s not easy to obtain. Are you training students? Do you have interns to teach them the training?
Michael Haduck: That’s why I started my YouTube channel. I get a lot of people. A guy just called me from Arizona 20 minutes before I came on the radio show. They call me from all over the country. One thing about masonry is it’s different. What works in Pennsylvania doesn’t work in Alaska. What works in Alaska doesn’t work in Florida. What works in Florida doesn’t work in California. So, it depends on the region where you’re from how you actually do the work. It’s the same like if you were down in Rome, it would be different than if you were up in England doing stonework. But, it’s a trade to pass on and I go around and I film different people and try to talk to the masons. It’s a dying art because everything’s premade anymore, so it’s a nice little thing to pass on at my age.
John C: Well Mike Haduck, thank you. Happy Easter and thank you for coming on our show. I’m glad that you are doing this kind of work and you’re teaching future generations to pass it on. We’ll catch up with you again real soon.
Michael Haduck: Thank you John, I appreciate it also.
John C: Thank you. Have a happy Easter. This is the Cats Roundtable. We’ll be right back.
Tune in to The Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis every Sunday morning at 9 am in New York on 970 AM: The Answer!, or find a station in your city by clicking here. Can’t get to a radio? No broadcast in your city yet? Listen online! The show is streamed live at www.am970theanswer.com or on-demand at www.catsroundtable.com.