Old South Church Tower Restoration


Newburyport, MA


David A Hart, AIA


Old South Presbyterian Church

Project Description

This project was prompted by deteriorated timber conditions within the tower and the instability of the tower’s lantern, as discovered during a complete building survey performed by Structures North. The restoration project included the replacement of the tower’s primary northeast corner post,transfer beam reinforcement at the attic level and repair, strengthening and/or replacement of damaged and/or overloaded members within the tower. Traditional timber joinery connections were used wherever possible. At the top of the tower, eight deteriorated, leaning timber posts were replaced with new high strength glue-laminated timbers. A new, hidden,
three-dimensional steel tension frame in the lantern allowed for the
elimination of previously added tension rods from the belfry, and for the
future re-creation of the spire that once adorned the top of the lantern.

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