Repairs made to St. Josaphat's iconic church steeple damaged by winds

In November, high winds took toll on century-old church steeple in Detroit

By Roger Weber - Reporter

DETROIT - It's been part of Detroit's skyline for decades, but the steeple on the St. Josaphat Catholic Church was badly damaged during a wind storm last fall. Shingles were torn off and holes were left behind.

More: Wind damages St. Josaphat's iconic church steeple

Church members raised tens of thousands of dollars to repair it and now the work is in the final stages.

The buckled steeple of St. Josephat will soon look the way it did in 1901. Crews from Detroit Cornice and Slate are working nearly 200 feet above Canfield Street.

Last November, parishioners feared the steeple would have to be torn down if it didn't blow down.

"We came up and installed these brackets on the hips and installed three-eighth cable and turnbuckles," one of the workers said.

And straightened it out, very carefully.

"That's why we took a week to move it, a little at a time. Give it time to relax then tighten the turnbuckles more," the worker said.

They put in several wood floors for stability.

"The most fun part is just the challenge of what this building looked like before and trying to get it like it is," said the worker. "We are at about 120 foot right now at the base of the steeple."

They've put on new weatherproof sheeting and new slate shingles. They worked on a platform that moves vertically.

Local 4's Roger Weber asked Council President Dennis Piotrowski how they're paying for all this. Insurance is one part. The steeple sign is another.

About $90,000 had poured in. They need more money but they said the job will be done.

"The structural integrity is such on the steeple there is no reason it cant be there for another 113 years," said the worker.

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