In the Fall of 2004 we set the ambitious goal of raising $10 million to preserve the historic Christ Church buildings and burial ground. To date, we have raised $6 Million toward this work.
We have received support from the community and from our parishioners, including $500,000 from the Pew Charitable Trusts, $350,000 from Save America's Treasures, $220,000 from a local foundation, several $100,000 commitments from local philanthropists, and $100,000 from Partners for Sacred Places and the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission. The church parishioners have given $1.3 million to the campaign.
And our accomplishments to date are many:
- Rebuilt the " water curtain" that protects our 250-year old wooden steeple from fire; we also installed the pumps, water lines and electrical systems that will be the basis for extending fire protection throughout Christ Church in Phase II of our Fire Protection plan.
- Repaired the wood, paint and the electrical systems in the steeple; we relit the steeple with state-of the art fixtures that use less energy and that light our beacon on the Philadelphia skyline.
- Prepared a 20-year preservation study for the church structure that schedules critical capital improvements as well as regular maintenance and inspections, so that we can be stewards of this historic treasure.
- Organized and catalogued our historical archives; we will be making them available on the Web early next year.
- Continued the amazing preservation of our historic burial ground at 5th and Arch with the building of new pathways and brick paving to welcome more than 100,000 visitors a year.
- Installed electrical improvements, bleachers and safety improvements in the top floor of Neighborhood House to serve community and arts groups, and generate more income for the parish.
- Completed the architectural plans that will restore and protect the venerable Neighborhood House, as well as to repurpose the building to better serve the congregation, visitors and the neighborhood.
Under the supervision of restoration architect Dale Frens, we have completed the extensive "building envelope" project that will assure that the church is water tight from stem to stern, as well as making necessary repairs to masonry, roof and windows. This spring, ACCESS 2009 will begin. Major work will be done to make Christ Church and Neighborhood House handicapped accessible.
We have accomplished much, and the Christ Church community can be proud and excited. Yes, we have a long way to go, but with this tremendous start, we are optimistic.