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Thread: Grace Church - 802 Broadway - by James Renwick, Jr.

  1. #1

    Default Grace Church - 802 Broadway - by James Renwick, Jr.

    They have a video clip, looks like they have to tear down about 20' of the steeple and rebuild it due to it's leaning 6"

    http://www.gracechurchnyc.org/spire.htm

    I'm real curious about the steeple's construction and hope to see some photos, that's all solid marble and the bell carrilon is under it, they had no structural steel back then like we do now and timber would shift/could rot etc.

  2. #2
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    It's been under scaffolding for months, I'll see if I can get some photos.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    It's been under scaffolding for months, I'll see if I can get some photos.
    That would be great! I just recently learned about it, but was always interested in the actual construction of that steeple and what was used at the base for support.

    The web site mentions the contractor thinks an iron plate that has a rod that goes up into the stone work to tie it together has rusted and the expansion of the rust is what is causing the tilt. So I am visualizing a large iron plate with a large diameter steel rod 20 or so feet long going all the way up through the stone to the top.

    That doesn't help visualize what's at the base above the bell room (the bell room's ceiling basically) that is horizontal supporting all that weight. I learned from the site that the steeple was put up later- 1890s which I didn't know, so maybe the support is a platform of steel I beams or something with that plate attached. Even so, that's a lot of dead weight resting on I beams in their weakest position, if that is what they used.

    I don't think they are going to take it down to that level, they mentioned

  4. #4
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Not sure if you can tell anything by these, but here are a couple......





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    My freshman year dorm is across Broadway.

  6. #6

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    Hard to tell anything detail wise Knight but thank you for posting the photos just the same! Interesting to see they had to put the scaffold up from the street with netting and a sidewalk bridge too.

    Interesting thing is the steeple and the arch in Wash Sq park are both marble, seems marble is especially subject to damage from acid rain.

  7. #7

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    Four trees on the grounds of Grace Church have been cut down. A sign explains that the church's arborist has determined that the trees were structurally impaired, a hazard to traffic and pedestrians, and nearing the end of their useful lives.

    I expect that some day my doctor will say the very same words to my family.



    Almost forgot. New trees will be planted after the underground gymnasium is built.

  8. #8

    Default Steel infrastructure

    Maybe there are steel beams inside. I recently visited Riverside Church (they have a great guided tour) and I learned that the entire building has a structural steel frame underneath the stone. Maybe its the same with Grace Church.

  9. #9

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    No, it's not got a steel frame. It was built in 1846- the stone walls themselves are structural.



    http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GV/GV001GraceChurch.htm

  10. #10
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostnyc
    seems marble is especially subject to damage from acid rain.
    Marble is very porous. They are the first tombstones in a cemetary to dissolve.

  11. #11

    Default flying buttress

    Quote Originally Posted by thomasjfletcher
    No, it's not got a steel frame. It was built in 1846- the stone walls themselves are structural.



    http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GV/GV001GraceChurch.htm
    Being that Riverside Church is much newer I had my doubts. Mostly trying to put in my two cent contribution to this very informative website.

    Alsc, got to see the link to nyc-architecure.com - very nice, its now on my favorites pull-down menu....thanks

  12. #12
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Four trees on the grounds of Grace Church have been cut down. A sign explains that the church's arborist has determined that the trees were structurally impaired, a hazard to traffic and pedestrians, and nearing the end of their useful lives.

    I expect that some day my doctor will say the very same words to my family.



    Almost forgot. New trees will be planted after the underground gymnasium is built.
    The underground gymnasium construction and other work at Grace Church is nearly complete ..

    Photos from a few weeks ago:





    And more from today, showing the replanted garden above the gymnasium ...







    Some of the faux "historical" pieces for the new addition ...


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