Update on Belfry Tower Repairs
In September, Session approved masonry repairs to the small tower on top of the belfry. Detroit Steeplejack has been contracted to perform the work. They use straps to keep stone in their proper locations and they climb around the tower using a secured harness. Over they years the tower has
withstood wind and elements and required attention before further deterioration could cause falling stone or masonry. The tower is receiving careful work to restore it to its faithful architectural purpose. In the book “Designing Detroit” by Michael G. Smith, the author writes that this small tower expresses the extensive knowledge of gothic design known by Wirt Rowland, the architect who designed JAPC. Rowland said “Gothic is something that grows as a vine or a tree—from roots. Symbolized by a vertical molding which may start from a base, it never stops util it vanishes into mid-air by means of points and pinnacles, disappointed, as it were, because it cannot ascend farther.” Michael Smith likened this small tower to the Statue of Liberty’s torch, suggesting that it “conveys a welcoming message to all."