1 year from reopening, 'GMA' views Notre Dame Cathedral's new spire

ByMason Leib and Anna Rabemanantsoa via GMA ABCNews logo
Friday, December 22, 2023
One year from reopening, 'GMA' views Notre Dame's new spire
ABC News' James Longman revisited Notre Dame and has a look at the newly erected spire ahead of the planned reopening in December of 2024.

"GMA" tours Notre Dame amid renovation before its December 2024 reopening. -- Over four years have passed since Notre Dame Cathedral, the iconic French landmark, caught fire, causing its 19th-century spire to collapse into the church, bringing devastating destruction to the Paris landmark and forcing the cathedral to close indefinitely.

After years of reconstruction, ABC News correspondent James Longman revisited Notre Dame, and was able to stand on top of the newly erected spire, reflecting on the restoration process, before the planned reopening in December of 2024.

TIMELINE: Notre Dame Cathedral fire progression captured in videos posted to social media

"Last time I came to Notre Dame, they were securing the building with the risk of falling down. Now it's the restoration phase, and they're taking us up to the spire," he said.

Longman also spotted the renovated stonework and new wooden beams of the spire after the blaze demolished the old carpentry.

"When the spire initially crumbled down into the church on fire. They sent shockwaves all over the world. And it was a trauma for France, but it's back now, standing tall over the city. It's a rebirth," said Longman.

Beyond the exterior, substantial renovations have been made to the interior of the cathedral as well.

PHOTOS: A look inside and outside Notre Dame Cathedral during fire

Phillip Jost, the head of restoration for Notre Dame, shared jubilence and pride when speaking with Longman about the recovery process.

"I feel very happy, very proud," said Jost. "Proud for all of the companions, all the workers, which work with enthusiasm."

Jost also highlighted a group of American carpenters who worked with the team of French carpenters to help recover the priceless monument using ancient techniques to rebuild the woodwork of the roof and spire.

In order to meet next year's renovation deadline, 2,000 specialists including joiners, carpenters, stone masons, artists and metal workers teamed up to work around the clock.

Among the results of the collaboration are cleaned and repaired rose-stained glass windows and renovated artwork which the cathedral is known for. The massive hole in the roof that once was has almost disappeared and the roof repair is underway.

The most sacred part of the church, the altar, produced visually stunning photographs in the immediate aftermath of the fire. The cross stood, appearing unscathed, while burnt debris filled the room.

"Now look at it. The cross is back up waiting to be unveiled," observed Longman.