The steeple was an incredible timber frame structure, with various period details including reeded moldings, arches and crown moldings. The steeple timber frame is unique, with a center “king” post that runs from the base of the cross through the steeple frame base and at one time to the deck of the pedestal.
The lower part of the steeple timber frame was rotted from moisture and insect infestation. Other parts of the steeple were failing, including the base copper roof, steeple asphalt roof and the support column bases. There was also a considerable amount of paint, where many of the details are obscured from the multiple layers. The steeple had many alterations over time, including several new roofs. The asphalt roof may be the 3rd campaign of roofing, where the original was most likely wood shingle. The base of the “king” post was removed from below the steeple ceiling to the pedestal deck when the bell was installed in the mid to late 19th century.
The bell was a wonderful bronze MeNeely Bell, from Troy NY. The bell’s use over time has caused the yoke pin to wear out the housing a bit, making the bell wobble in its stand. The other cast iron parts had multiple layers of paint.
The methodology for the project scope was to balance cost, longevity and serviceability.
Scope of Work:
- Remove steeple from site, rig and transport to Heritage Restoration, Inc.’s shop in Falmouth, MA
- Remove lower arched base for restoration of panels and framing repairs
- Strip and dispose of spire roof shingles.
- Repair timber frame in kind where possible. Re-engineer areas of weakness.
- Make necessary repairs to all trim and posts.
- Strip decorative elements
- Primed with 2 finish coats
- Repair/replace copper lower arched base overhang in kind
- Install painted white cedar shingles on spire roof
- Reconstruct and install copper cross, guild with gold leaf
- Install lightning protection and tie into existing lightning protection installed on structure.
- Return steeple to site, rigging transport from Heritage Restoration, Inc. to Sharon, CT.
Steeple Pedestal Restoration
- Make necessary repairs to interior framing of spire
- Make necessary repairs to all trim fabric
- Prep for the installation of 8 new octagon wood posts
- Fabricate and install 8 custom steel couplings
- Prep and prime with 2 finish coats of Benjamin Moore paint
- Repair/replace copper arched base overhang in kind
- Transportation bell assembly to Falmouth, MA and back to Sharon, CT.
- Disassemble bell assembly
- Machine metal “A” frame to accept new steel bushings machined to fit yoke pintles
- All metal parts, excluding bell, to be sandblasted and powder coated black.
- Replace various pieces of hardware in kind as needed.
- Restore wood rope wheel
- Repairs to be in kind
- Repair method to be a combination of replacement, dutchmen and epoxy repair.
- Milling of new material as needed to match original
- Primed with 2 finish coats of Benjamin Moore paint
- Rotate bell 90 degrees
- Wash bronze bell
- Reassemble bell assembly
- Install bell carriage on steeple