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Tower Update Tower Update

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Tower Update

Posted by: Chelsea Badeau on Fri, Jan 7, 2011

This fall saw good progress on the Summit Tower project.Many structurally signify-cant stones which had been turning to sand and shifting the tower have been replaced with harder stone.The new stones can be found in the archways and in the corner behind the bushes.The new stone is Wissahickon schist from a quarry depth of over 17 feet, while the old stone was believed to be a softer surface schist. Amateurs can estimate the hardness of the schist by inspecting the color.The schist with plenty of golden mica is the softer material that turns to sand after a few decades of pressure.The bluer-hued stones are harder and more durable; they can be expected to weather to a grey color like the rest of the church. Click to read more.

This fall saw good progress on the Summit Tower project.Many structurally signify-cant stones which had been turning to sand and shifting the tower have been replaced with harder stone.The new stones can be found in the archways and in the corner behind the bushes.The new stone is Wissahickon schist from a quarry depth of over 17 feet, while the old stone was believed to be a softer surface schist. Amateurs can estimate the hardness of the schist by inspecting the color.The schist with plenty of golden mica is the softer material that turns to sand after a few decades of pressure.The bluer-hued stones are harder and more durable; they can be expected to weather to a grey color like the rest of the church.


Unfortunately, the temperature turned cold just as we were ready to begin inserting the steel rods.Sub freezing temperatures do not allow mortar to cure  properly. Warmer temperatures returned and 16 steel rods were installed.Two of the four 25-foot rods and 15 of the 30 smaller 5-foot rods are now securing the tower, and no open core holes remain at this time.
 

 Realistically, much of the remaining work will need to wait until spring, but there may be isolated warm weeks throughout the winter that allow limited progress.In addition to the remaining steel rods, we look forward to the replacement of more damaged stone, rebuilding of the Westview St. buttress (now covered with a plastic tarp), and extensive re-pointing. 

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