High Profile Project Expected to be Completed by Year’s End

Corpus Christi’s historic restoration is about to take another tremendous step forward with the announcement that repair and rebuilding of the church’s north tower is expected to begin on August 7th, when the church’s copper cupola will be removed, weather permitting.

The north tower cupola is more than a century old and damaged beyond repair. It will be dismantled on site. A new cupola, matching the original in materials and design, will be installed and all repairs to the tower stone work will be completed before the end of the 2014 construction season. This project is estimated to cost $612,000.

The proposed project is Phase II of a multi-phase, multi-million dollar five year Preservation Fund II campaign to restore the main components of the church’s exterior envelope. A Facility Assessment Report of the Campus in 2004 and an engineering report on the bell/clock towers in 2006 documented most of the required work. In each case, extensive stone restoration consisting of re-pointing and re-building some areas to prevent weather infiltration was recommended. In addition, the 2006 report emphasized the need for structural repairs to address the deterioration of the wood and steel sub frame, and stone around the base of the tower’s copper dome. This undertaking is essential to reverse significant deterioration and potentially much more costly remediation to the church exterior, which threatens the building’s long-term structural integrity, and ultimately its magnificent interior decoration.

Restoration of the south tower was completed in 2012, due in large part to a major grant from New York State. A second significant State grant is allowing work on the north tower to begin.

Lucy Ederer, President of the Friends of Corpus Christi, explained that “The north tower restoration was eleven years in the making. Completing this project will go a long way toward protecting this historic landmark for generations to come.”

Local companies were hired for both the north and south tower projects, providing important jobs for Western New Yorkers. Hamilton, Houston, Lownie Architects LLC, along with the construction firm of Allstate Development, Inc. and sub-contractors Community Steel and Weaver Metal and Roofing, were awarded the work for this significant phase of the restoration. All needed work is being performed in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties.

These are images taken from crane while prep work for cupola removal was being performed. (click on images for full view)


For additional information, visit www.corpuschristibuffalo.org.