Restoration of North Tower to Begin This Spring
The New Year is off to a promising start at Corpus Christi Church, thanks to a $15,000 grant from M&T Bank toward the parish’s Phase II Restoration Fund Campaign. Specifically, this funding will be used to repair the north tower, and to replace the church’s antiquated drainage system.
This is the second grant from M&T Bank for Corpus Christi’s restoration. The M& T grant will be used as critical matching funds toward money awarded from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund to finish securing the exterior “envelope” of this historic church. Although these projects will be largely invisible to the general public, they are essential to ensuring this landmark’s stability for many years to come.
In the last decade, water infiltration and freeze/thaw effects caused a portion of the sandstone cornice of the north tower to fracture and collapse. A wind storm in December 2008 damaged sections of cladding on the tower cupola. While intermediate steps have been taken to ease these situations for the short term, they are temporary, “band-aid” solutions that must be addressed in a much more comprehensive manner for public safety and the long-term preservation of the church. In addition, time and weather have caused the existing drainage tiles around the perimeter of the church foundation to fall apart and the stone wall mortar joints to deteriorate, allowing further migration of water into the interior spaces. As a result, significant sections of the basement walls have crumbled and there is an ongoing mold and mildew problem that makes the space unhealthy for use.