Dayton Chronicle - Your Hometown News Source

Belfry removed from First Christian Church


July 23, 2020

-Submitted photo

The First Christian Church of Dayton underwent some structural modifications recently with the removal of the belfry from the 1886 church building.

DAYTON–Faith was put to the test here recently-faith in a large crane and its ability to lift a historic structure from an ailing building.

The congregation of the First Christian Church have been working on a solution to a structural problem in their 1886 church building for the past few years, and, lo, it came to pass in June when the bell tower of the venerable old church was removed to give its old bones some relief.

-Submitted photo

Preparations by contractors allow the belfry to separate from the church structure.

In recent years, according to church member Gary Schroeder, one of the building's bridge trusses failed, and the investigation that followed concluded that the bell tower would be needed to be removed.

The tower was originally estimated at 2,200 pounds, but weighed 4,200 pounds.

Belfry removal was overseen by Roman Schmidt of Summit Construction, Inc., who put the crane of Wilbur Fletcher, Inc. to work on the task.

The tower is now on the ground, after having a lofty perch for some 134 years, along with the bell, which had a date on it of 1880, Schroeder said.

The jury is still out on whether the belfry was the cause of the structural problems, Schroeder. Historical research indicates that the foreman on the church construction project was a bridge engineer for the county, he said.

What's next? Well, congregants are still considering options.


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