Capital Campaign: Tower and Steeple Conservation
The Christ Church steeple dates to 1754 and is one of the few wooden structures of its kind still standing from the Colonial Era.
A cornerstone of Philadelphia’s landscape along the Delaware River, the Christ Church steeple was the highest structure in America for over 50 years. Since the Revolutionary era, the steeple has served as a symbol of revolutionary spirit and religious tolerance.
In 2016, Christ Church Preservation Trust conducted a steeple investigation and learned that the icon was leaning two feet to the northwest and needed structural support to endure for centuries more. The Trust then commissioned the architectural firm John Milner and Associates and structural engineers Keast & Hood to restore and rehabilitate the steeple and its supporting tower.
Phase One of the project, the interior restoration of the steeple and its supporting brick tower, was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The National Fund for Sacred Places, The Raynier Foundation, The Crystal Trust, The Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, William B. Dietrich Foundation and major individual donors.
In September 2018, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania awarded the Trust a $1 million matching grant from its Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RAC-P) for Phase 2 of the project: the exterior restoration. Buoyed by this announcement, the Color Guard of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution (PSSR) donated $600,000 to our campaign,a transformational gift that allows us to begin Phase 2 work in spring 2019.
“The Color Guard of the PSSR is pleased and honored to make this donation to Christ Church,” said Eric Edward L. Guenther Jr., Captain of the Color Guard. “Christ Church’s long and proud history as a beacon of American values and revolutionary ideas deserves our support and we look forward to celebrating the completed renovation.”
Christ Church Preservation Trust continues to look for patriotic individuals, foundations and societies that can help it raise the final $875,000 needed for the steeple campaign. You can help conserve this national icon by donating here.