Christ Church Steeple Must Remove 70 Feet of Stone, Says City

Construction on the Cobble Hill parish is expected to take another three weeks.

Christ Church Cobble Hill must remove approximately 70 feet of stone from their iconic 117-foot-steeple, after being struck by lightning during a storm last month.

"The city has required the removal of 70 feet of the stone tower," says Rev. Canon Shawn P. Duncan of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, which is fielding all inquiries for Christ Church at this time. "This will likely take about three more weeks."

During a flash thunderstorm on Thursday, July 26, , causing scaffolding to fall through the roof and onto the sidewalk, claiming the life of .

Since then, portions of Clinton and Kane Streets surrounding the church have been entirely blocked off to traffic and pedestrians, while teams of workers have tried to stabilize the structure, and dismantling the walls and buttresses down to just below the bell chamber louvers or possibly the clock faces.

"The tower is massive—walls are approximately 8 ft thick at buttress base and 4 ft at bell louvers and 3 ft up top," Christ Church's Father Ron Lau told the Cobble Hill Association last week. "The long range plan, from the engineer's point of view, is once the tower is stable/safe, to reopen the Parish House offices and preschool, make a repair to the roof and the Northeast corner walls, remove the rubble from the church—75% of the rubble is in the church—clean the church, repair the organ, which is now full of grit, and then address the tower restoration."

The church is conducting additional engineering studies while that work is in progress in order to make informed decisions about next steps.

Christ Church will be coordinating a process to receive donations soon, but as of press time it was not yet ready. 

Stay with Patch for updates.

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