John Paul II - The Mass in Central Park

This commission for this celebration of the Mass on October 07, 1995 involved every discipline of our profession, only executed under different methods, conditions, and extremely accelerated time constraints.

The coordination requirements were demanding: the New York City Departments of Buildings, Fire Prevention, Parks, Police, Emergency Evacuation, the Mayor’s Office for Special Events, and the United States Secret Service. All were synchronized for life safety, crowd control, event planning, and security while dovetailed with the requirements of liturgy and worship as prescribed by the Archdiocese of New York and the Vatican.

The sheer assembly size (150,000 people) required months of planning, two weeks of construction for a six-hour event, and two days of dismantling. While the ingredients were the same compared to any other church building enterprise, the scale was the distinguishing feature of this project. The key to success was communication, teamwork, and the ability to bring widely divergent points of view to consensus.