big story in philly is how bell tower is leaking and if not fixed may crumble...
i pass by its edifice several times a month as taxi mom and been inside several times. knew park service was getting stimulus funds from reading bill.
guess it's repair will create some temp jobs; economy will improve from increase in visitors to see what all the fuss is about, therefore helping tourism in area. need to put visitng constitution center and here on my summer activity list....karen
from philadelphia inquirer:
posted on wed, apr. 22, 2009
stimulus millions to fix leaky independence hall
the associated press
philadelphia - more than $5.6 million in federal stimulus aid will be used to repair and restore the leaky clock tower of independence hall, which once housed the liberty bell, and for other park improvements, officials said wednesday.
independence national historical park officials said about $4 million will be used to stop the deterioration caused by water infiltration in the tower, install a new lightning protection system and add new clock faces. other funds will go toward installing energy monitoring equipment in park buildings and repairing historic cobblestones.
"if you look at tall buildings that have towers, the first thing that disappears if they're not maintained is a tower," said charles tonetti, the park's chief historical architect.
the current tower was built in 1828, replacing the original tower constructed in 1750.
in the interior of the tower, the original 18th century timber contrasts with orange steel supports from the 1960s and red steel installed in the 1990s due to an earlier water problem. tonetti points out a protruding rod that is believed to be part of the original lightning rod installed by benjamin franklin.
on higher levels, wood near the nine-foot white clock faces is stained by seeping water, and elsewhere salt from a modern sealant has turned wood into hairlike debris. the main problem, tonetti said, is rust on iron rods that has been breaking up the surrounding wood, allowing even more water to seep in.
park officials are mulling over how best to solve the water problem, perhaps by replacing the iron rods with steel. they also plan to use stimulus money to replace deteriorated bricks, rotted wood and worn-out wooden shingles, restore wooden windows and repaint the entire structure to its original whiter shade rather than the current yellowish hue....
stairway inside tower...
philadlphia business journal 4/22/09
independence hall tower to be renovated with stimulus funds