A 100-year-old bell tower in poor condition and in need of extensive repair was shored recently by Isaac Blair & Co. in advance of scheduled roof work. Located in Whitinsville, MA, the United Presbyterian Church discovered that its parapet was unstable and needed immediate remediation. The Church was closed temporarily due to safety concerns.
General Contractor Building Restoration Services (South Boston, MA) contracted with Isaac Blair to secure the tower and provide safe access for workers restoring the compromised brick parapet. Isaac Blair designed and installed a staging system and work platform around the attached tower. Repair equipment had to be moved up and over the pitched, slate roof.
To stabilize the parapet, the crew mounted twenty vertical c-channels to the parapet’s exterior façade to hold it upright, while the interior of the parapet was braced using steel plates and lumber.
Once the parapet was secure, Isaac Blair built the staging system around its perimeter. The work platform surrounding the tower’s perimeter was installed at 40 feet above ground on four, 2,200 lb. cantilevered steel beams threaded through the bell tower to provide the main support for the staging; eight additional beams were installed and clamped together to the main supporting beams to provide further support. A stair tower was built from the ground up to provide workers access to the scaffold platform.
At completion of the work, the Church was able to reopen to staff and parishioners for various activities, including use of its soup kitchen and services during Holy Week. The Reverend expressed gratitude to the Isaac Blair crew for advancing a plan and sequence that allowed the Church to remain accessible to parishioners during this time. The staging will remain in place as restoration work continues this spring.