Historic Woodbury church steeple coming down due to rot - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Historic Woodbury church steeple coming down due to rot

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The North Congregational Church in Woodbury is having part of its steeple replaced because of extensive rot. (WFSB photo) The North Congregational Church in Woodbury is having part of its steeple replaced because of extensive rot. (WFSB photo)
WOODBURY, CT (WFSB) -

Part of a steeple at a church in Woodbury must come down because of extensive rot, according to church leaders.

The North Congregational Church was built in 1816.

The congregation has been celebrating its bicentennial.

However, that celebration was brought to a halt this week because of restoration work. Columns and supports were found to be severely rotted.

"There certainly is the concern for the danger of personal safety," said Peter D'Amato, Board of Trustees.

A Vermont firm called Southgate Steeple Jacks previously came to secure the lantern and returned on Tuesday to bring it down completely, weathervane and all.

The company's owner called it a tricky job, even with their experience.

"Just, if something goes wrong the consequences are huge," said Jay Southgate, Southgate Steeple Jacks. "It's not like calling out the wrong number at bingo."

Church leaders knew the extent of some of the damage. However, they said it's quite possible that the 200-year-old structure has a lot more.

They said it's something they're going to have to assess.

The price tag for the current project stands at $150,000.

"We'll spend what has to be spent," D'Amato said.

D'Amato told Eyewitness News that the church was awarded a $50,000 state grant and held a fundraising campaign to cover costs.

"Being a very historic minded community, we're very concerned about preservation [and] restoration, but first and foremost, public safety," he said.

Church leaders are hopeful the lantern is restored and hoisted back onto its resting point within two weeks.

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