Los Angeles Times

The science of rebuilding Notre Dame

Two holes gape where Notre Dame's vaulted stone ceiling has collapsed. The cathedral's 19th century timber spire is gone, as is most of its roof. Portions of the interior walls were blackened by the intense heat of Paris' most consequential fire in centuries.

As the world absorbs the magnitude of devastation wrought by Notre Dame's inferno, architects and engineers anticipate a decades-long restoration process replete with unprecedented challenges. Designers will need to navigate complicated structural issues and delicate preservation debates to satisfy an array of stakeholders.

They will all be asking the same question: How do you revive an 850-year-old icon?

"The whole world is watching, and everybody has something to say about it," said Marc Walton, director of Center for

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