Save Our Steeple THE PROBLEM A 2003 engineering study revealed several critical deficits in the steeple and tower.
Lean to the Rear The steeple and tower are visibly leaning toward the center of the building. This is not evident in much older photos.
Interior Truss & Rafter Joint Some of the interior joinery is separating.
Flat Board Rot The flat board siding of the tower is deteriorating due to failure of the paint and exposure to moisture, freezing, thawing and wind.
Damaged Slates Many of the original slates- probably quarried on upper Slate Ave.-are broken, cracked or missing. As a result water has leaked in and damaged the sheathing beneath. The Project This is an architectural rendering of the framework of our steeple, bell room and clock room. Note the queen post truss system in the center at the bottom of the structure. This is one of the areas needing reinforcement.
Steeple Bell tower Project Details Stabilize the Tower by reinforcing existing supports
Remove old slates, replace sheathing and install new slates The lean of the tower will be stabilized by reinforcing the heavy timber trusses that support the tower with new 4”X8” wood beams. In addition roof rafters will be reinforced by adding new 2”X8” rafters, reinforcing existing connections, creating trusses out of existing rafters and beams. The old slates will be removed from the steeple. Deteriorated wood shathing will be removed and replaced with new wood. Existing sheathing will be re-nailed and all will be covered with ice and water membrane, 30 pound felt and new slates. Tower Exterior:
replace all rotted wood and replace with new wood. Prime and finish with 2 coats of paint On the bell and clock tower all exterior rotted wood will be removed and replaced with new wood. Cedar or cypress is to be used in more exposed areas. New wood is to be primed and all will be finished with 2 coats of paint. Project Details Project Details We need YOUR help! Based on the estimate of a reputable steeple restoration contractor the project can be completed for $99,292. This will result in our steeple and tower being restored to excellent condition and ensure that the leaning problem is halted. We have already received a matching grant in the amount of $10,750 from the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. We must have the entire project amount in hand before beginning the work, hopefully in May of 2011. The United Church of Northfield History The UCN is a central landmark of the Depot Square Historic District. It was built in 1836- dedicated in 1837- by entrepreneur and later VT. Governor, Charles Paine. Paine built his meeting house for his mill workers and from that time it has always been a house of worship. As near as we can tell the steeple and tower are original to the building the clock, as was typical of the time in New England, was maintained by the village and appropriately called the Village Clock. The function of the village clock was to keep its workers on time. The clock is still maintained by the Village of Northfield. Save Our Steeple! Please make checks payable to: UCN SOS Fund
or to: United Church of Northfield with a memo to: Save our Steeple Fund
Checks may be mailed to:
Attn: SOS Fund
United Church of Northfield
PO Box 188
Northfield, VT 05663
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