2006-03-10 / Community

See For Yourself, The Dome Is Coming Along

By Brian Magoolaghan

Patrick Clark, left, works with his apprentices Chris Dyson, center, and Billy Greenberg as the final pour of liquid cement hardens and the sand finish is applied to a piece of the cupola.Patrick Clark, left, works with his apprentices Chris Dyson, center, and Billy Greenberg as the final pour of liquid cement hardens and the sand finish is applied to a piece of the cupola.

It looks like the Tribute Park dome is really shaping up to be the icing on the cake that stained glass artist Patrick Clark has been promising all along.

Clark opened his basement studio on Beach 117 Street to the public last Saturday and offered visitors a chance to see the dome up-close and to look on as he and his assistants worked on the pieces that will form the cupola.

Clark and company poured a third layer of liquid cement around the hand-faceted, slab glass pieces and crystal commemorative September 11 stars to form the cupola pieces. Sand was then sprinkled out of small Dunkin' Donuts cups onto the cement - at the precise moment - to give the finished look.

"It's pretty exciting because after today we're so close," Clark told The Wave. He said he would finish each of the individual pieces - 10 in all - this week and then would need about another week for touchups and fitting. The steel structure that will support the glass atop the dome is complete, and Clark has already started test- fitting the pieces.

A piece of the cupola is carried inside for safe storage. This view shows the side that will face skyward.A piece of the cupola is carried inside for safe storage. This view shows the side that will face skyward. "Structurally, all of the big steps are complete," Clark said.

Visitors were welcomed all day long for casual tours and an update. The "open shop" shared billing with the Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade, which brought plenty of foot traffic to the area and many a curious and supportive visitor to the workshop.

"Patrick, we're so proud of you," Mickey Cohen said during his visit. "This is fantastic." The open shop may have been the public's last chance to see Clark working at the Sunlites Stained Glass basement studio, which will have to relocate this summer because the property has been sold. Clark said he is still weighing his options and hasn't picked a new location yet.

A peek inside the tent outside the studio reveals the dome structure with two pieces temporarily fitted in place.
A peek inside the tent outside the studio reveals the dome structure with two pieces temporarily fitted in place. "It's kind of scary and kind of exciting," he said of the move.

Clark, who is still reluctant to set a completion date for the Tribute Park dome, said the dome could be installed on site within a few weeks. The steel dome support and pieces will be carried the short distance from Clark's studio to the park for the final assembly, which he said could happen as long as there's no snow or strong wind.

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