SAU CFDD
Jul 282016
 
Contributed The original bell from 1856 sits idle in the bell tower of Sacred Heart Cathedral, Davenport. A $50,000 grant will allow the tower to be fixed.

Contributed
The original bell from 1856 sits idle in the bell tower of Sacred Heart Cathedral, Davenport. A $50,000 grant will allow the tower to be fixed.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — More than a century of use and exposure to Iowa heat, cold, rain and snow has taken its toll on the stone and mortar of the bell tower at Sacred Heart Cathedral, said Father Rich Adam. The pastor and rector of the cathedral said weather damage has caused physical damage to the bell tower.
But the bell will ring again. A $50,000 grant from the State of Iowa Historical Preservation Society will be used for repairs such as tuck-pointing (replacing mortar between the stone), replacing the wood frame and fixing the flooring beneath the bell. In addition, the unenclosed tower will be lit.
Fr. Adam said 98 stairs lead up to the tower. He knows the exact count because several years ago he and others cleaned all of them. Just a year later, he noticed mortar and other debris along with the dust in the tower. The bell has not been rung in three years to help stabilize the tower and to avoid further damage.
Work will begin as soon as possible, Fr. Adam said. It must be completed by December 2018, according to the grant. “We hope to have it done much sooner than that.”
The existing Sacred Heart Cathedral building was dedicated in 1891. The bell located in the tower came from the original St. Margaret Church and was purchased by Antoine LeClaire in 1856.

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