Lovely photos, John. As to the altar, Cardinal Ratzinger had this to say:"It would surely be a mistake to reject all the reforms of our century wholesale. When the altar was very remote from the people, it was right to move it back to the people. In cathedrals this made it possible to recover the tradition of having the altar in the crossing, the meeting point of the nave and the presbyterium." Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, trans. John Saward (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2000), p.81.