The treasured main organ at St. Patrick's Cathedral is getting its gleaming pipes back -- all 9,000 of them.
Crews inside the Manhattan landmark Thursday started hoisting each of the shiny pipes, which range in length from 32 feet to an inch and a half.
Each pipe was carefully unwrapped and wiped clean on a balcony scaffolding deck before being installed in its proper slot in the 80-year-old organ.
In June 2012, the pipes were removed and taken to the Peragallo Organ Co. in Paterson, New Jersey, where they were washed and polished by hand. They were stored there as work crews refurbished the stained-glass Rose Window behind the organ.
The organ should be ready to rumble in about six weeks, said Kate Monaghan, a cathedral spokeswoman.
The Fifth Avenue cathedral is undergoing a $175 million face-lift, inside and out. Its 300 pews have been incrementally removed and refurbished, and the 330-foot-high stone-and-lead glass spires have been restored. The 9,000-pound restored cast bronze front doors have been refurbished and rehung.
The massive project, involving more than 200 workers, started soon after stone fragments began to fall onto the sidewalk and street. Work is expected to be completed by December 2015.