Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Philadelphia’s Christ Church preserves historic steeple

From Philadelphia-

A centuries-old artifact of architectural, church and American history is being restored.

Philadelphia’s Christ Church steeple design dates back to 1754 when Scottish immigrant and architect Robert Smith completed the project.

“It was the Comcast Tower of its time,” said Christ Church rector, Rev. Tim Safford. “It put Philadelphia on the map. It proved to the European world that Philadelphia was a first-class city.”
It was America’s tallest structure until 1810, with a weather vane reaching 196 feet.

Church officials knew in the early 2000s that the tower and steeple would need work. It’s leaning almost two feet. That’s bothered Rev. Stafford every time he crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge. The restoration will stabilize the structure from further deterioration, though it won’t straighten it. Pulling it on one side of the structure would threaten the structural integrity of the entire building. 

Scaffolding was erected around the tower and steeple in August, and restoration — including repointing, shingling, and reinforcement with steel beams to prevent further leaning. This is all being done with help from a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More here-

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