November 16, 2015
Filed under: Church Bell Restoration, Church Steeple Replacement, Electronic Carillons, Historic Reproduction, Historic Steeple Renovation, News, Recent Projects.

1926 Church Bells Restored with Historic Reproduction Church Steeple, Clock Tower, Carillon and Electronic Bell Ringing Equipment

Church Specialties recently worked on the restoration of the church bells and steeple replacement at the Masonic Care Community’s Tompkins Memorial Chapel in Utica New York.

Historic Reproduction Church Steeple Installed

A historic reproduction was created to replace the original wooden steeple which had deteriorated over the years. The original was built in 1911, so it graced the chapel for 104 wonderful years. The new steeple is fabricated from lightweight, strong, maintenance-free aluminum and was hoisted into place in sections, creating a stunningly fresh look for the vintage steeple.

Meneely Bells Restoration

As part of the restoration, the four-bell peal was removed from the belfry. The four bronze bells were originally cast in 1926 by the Meneely Bell Company of Troy, NY. The attached plaque noted the gift of the bells was a tribute to Christopher G. Fox, Grand Master of the Queen City Masonic Lodge, and was dedicated in 1926.

The heavy bronze church bells were carefully removed, restored by Church Specialties of Vermont to like-new condition, and reinstalled during the assembly of the steeple, clock tower and electronic carillon.

Electronic Bell Ringing Equipment

Electronic bell ringing equipment was installed inside the bells to prevent damage that is sometimes caused by well-meaning, but overzealous manual bell ringers.

Carillon Added to the Tompkins Memorial Chapel

As an added enhancement to the quality of the sound and to take advantage of today’s latest technology, a new electronic carillon was also installed during the steeple renovation. The new carillon plays an expanded variety of hundreds of hymns, tolls and tributes which was not possible with a four-bell peal.

Clock Tower

To finish off the restoration, a new clock tower with multi-directional clock faces was created and installed, proudly displaying the time for the benefit of the entire community.