Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You don't see this very often; Or Flying Bell Tower

There are many other things I should blog about, but I just need to share our "fun" this afternoon. The church I attend is over 100 years old. The bell tower has been leaning more and more over the last several years. The culprit? A foundation that is failing. They didn't use to build things the way we do today. The foundation was repaired once before, but sadly is in need of more care.

The plan - Remove the entire bell tower, rebuild the structure that is dry-rot, etc; put in a completely new foundation, and replace the refurbished bell tower. "What" you say... Replace??? Yep, they took the top off of the bell tower today. Here are the pictures...

First you can see the crane, and the straps that will be picking up the tower. They are getting ready to put the straps in place, on the ends of the large boards sticking out the sides of the tower. Besides the guy on the cherry picker, there is a guy in the open frame work below the boards that are sticking out. (There used to be more brown shakes on that part.)

Below, the straps are now connected, and the crane begins it lift of the top of the bell tower.

Will it lift?

Will it come down in one piece??

Yes, the church members that were there, gave a quick group prayer.

And the picture that you are waiting for...


And it is down. Safely. Amen.

You can't really tell from the pictures I have posted, but the "top" that was removed is about 25 foot tall. Below is a picture of the real bell in the tower. (No, it is not a speaker with a recording!) And yes, we ring it just before service every Sunday.

OK, I couldn't resist loading one more picture to show you how big the top of the bell tower is. I should also let you know that the crane operator told us it weighed 4200 pounds!!

In this picture is the contractor and his helper, the pastor, the town mayor, and my hubby - chairman of the trustee committee (this is not the order they are standing in - LOL). (oh, and the back of the "official photographer!" Anyway, this gives you a little more perspective on the size of the tower.
I hope you enjoyed the process of removing the top of the bell tower. We sure enjoyed the day, and are very thankful that the top came down safely!


baggins750 said...

So, where were Steve and the other folks standing while the Bell Tower was coming down. I am assuming that they moved closer to the tower AFTER it flew to the ground.....:*) It certainly looks like an unenviable structural problem but certainly worthwhile. I can't wait to see the project after its finished. Love, Sue

Anonymous said...

What a great celebration when you put it back up on top. Wonder how long it will take to repair.I'm still saving pennies
Love you lots. Mom