Articulate, Confident, Responsible Citizens of the World
The Pellettieri Stone Carvers' Academy
Cathedral alumnus Chris Pellettieri '80 has an unusual and interesting career—he is a stone carver.
Many people don't realize that, despite being over a century old, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine's structure is still unfinished. What with stone carving being a slow and exacting process by nature, a dearth of local stonework artisans and inconsistent funding, the Cathedral remained under construction on and off between 1892 and the end of the second World War, at which point construction on the Cathedral stopped completely for over 30 years.
When Chris Pellettieri attended The Cathedral School in the late 1970s, the Cathedral's then-dean, Reverend James Morton, had begun a campaign to resume construction on the Cathedral building. Dean Morton founded a stone yard, the Cathedral Stoneworks, to revive the ancient art of stone masonry, and imported master artisans from England and France to train dozens of neighborhood youths. This renewal of building activity—along with a childhood spent in and around the Cathedral—had kindled a longing in Chris to become a Cathedral Builder, and after graduating from Stuyvesant High School and NYU he returned to the Cathedral and became an apprentice stone carver. After the stone yard closed in 1994, Chris stayed on as a Cathedral Artist in Residence.
Five years ago, Chris founded the Pellettieri Stone Carvers' Academy, to preserve the stone carving tradition by offering training in the ancient methods that he himself learned at the Cathedral 30 years prior. Next year, Chris is planning to launch the first ever Gap Year Stone Carving Training Program for high school graduates who are taking time off before attending college and have an interest in learning the art of stone carving. It will be a full time, hands-on experience, taking place over 4 weeks in January and February of 2022 at the Academy's state-of-the-art facility. Please check the Stone Carvers' Academy website for the developing details of the Gap Year program, as well as their other exciting programs and events.