The above picture is circa 1910ish. The steeple shown is the one we are trying to replicate. A couple of changes need to be made to make it work in today’s world:
1. The openings will be covered by shutters similar to the ones on the windows. They will keep out birds, bats etc. Also, it will protect the interior of the steeple and church from water damage from rain & snow.
2. The finial atop the steeple will differ a bit with the inclusion of lightning protection (nothing major).
3. The spire atop the bell tower will be encased with copper sheeting which initially may seem overly bright but will weather nicely. This covering will eliminate the need to replace shingles and will last many years.
The steeple pre-fabrication is well underway. We are trying to schedule a crane for the second half of September for removal of the old structure and installation of the new one. I will let everyone know once we firm up the date(s) of the work; it might be fun to watch.
Note: There will be a short (24″) lightning rod on the new finial atop the steeple. The existing steeple is shorter than the original, which was destroyed by lightning in the early 1900s. Subsequent steeples were built shorter, probably to facilitate construction so high above the ground. When we undertook the church restoration, we decided to go back to the original design.