Fundraising efforts underway for work on Old City church steeple

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — One of the oldest original structures in the nation, Christ Church in Old City, is in need of serious preservation work to its steeple, and fundraising efforts are underway.

Christ Church’s main structure was completed in 1744. Many of our forefathers, like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, were congregants. 

The steeple was added in 1754, making the 196-foot building the tallest in the country for about 50 years.

After all those years and sustaining a 1908 lightening strike fire, restoration is needed.

Related: Old City Bar Starts Fundraiser To Help Neighboring Church

The steeple is currently leaning 22 inches, and stabilization and other repairs like masonry work and painting is needed.

The Reverend Timothy Safford, the rector of the church, took KYW Newsradio up the steeple by climbing up rickety old ladders to almost the top.  

“You’ll see this steel structure up in here, and then what we are going to do in this next project is insert vertical steel beams into this upper steel structure and run it up through the open part of the steeple,” he said. 

Just about everywhere you look, names and dates of workers are marked into beams over the years. 

The latest restoration project will cost $3.1 million, and $605,000 is still needed.

The restoration work is expected to start in June. 

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