In Paris, Springfield Photographer Documents 'Unsung Heroes' of Notre Dame Repairs

Oct 28, 2019

A Springfield photographer packed his bags a few weeks ago and boarded a plane to Paris.  Steven Spencer, who also works in construction, wanted to document the work of the "unsung heroes" rebuilding the Cathedral of Notre Dame after fire engulfed the magnificent building earlier this year.  KSMU's Jennifer Moore reached him by phone to learn about his work. 

“I don't watch TV or the news a lot, but when I did catch a little glimpse of it, it was always about the academics and the historians. And being a construction worker, nobody ever talks about the guy that's crawling in the ash, you know, the asbestos ash,” Spencer said.

“So they’re like the unsung heroes, really,” Spencer said.

He said these days, the popular tourist site is the scene of trucks, cranes, and stone masons doing meticulous work.  When we spoke, crews were lifting up wooden braces that will help hold the walls of Notre Dame together.

“You know, it's just I've never seen anything like it. And I'm honored to be this close,” Spencer said.

He said the stone masons appeared to be gathering and archiving debris from the fire.  Some of the gargoyles from the cathedral appeared to have been damaged, he added.

Spencer has posted some of his photographs to his Facebook and Instagram accounts. He said he may print some of them out later and have a show in a local gallery. You can see a slideshow of some of his photographs above.