Office of Mayor Domenic J. Sarno
SPRINGFIELD CAMPANILE PROJECT ANNOUNCED
$20 Million Needed for Restoration
Friday, March 7, 2014 -Springfield, Massachusetts- Plans for the Springfield Campanile Project were announced today in Springfield City Hall. Participants will include Denise Jordan, Chief of Staff for Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director for the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management, Michael Teller, Principal at CBI Consulting, who will be joined by the project’s chairs, Congressman Richard E. Neal, William Lowell Putnam and Jonathan Fantini Porter.
The restoration project costs have been updated by CBI Consulting to be $20 million dollars. It requires extensive structural repair due to age and exposure. The cracks on the towers ex terior correspond to where the steel structure is corroded and weak. The broken limestone will be removed and replaced to match the existing. The highly rusted interior steel will be repaired and waterproofed.
“Together, we can restore the clock tower to its original majesty when it opened 100 years ago,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “Springfield is on the verge of a renaissance and the Campanile reflects the aspirations and confidence that are now starting to permeate our city.”
The Springfield Campanile Project also includes the restoration of the twelve large bronze bells of the carillon along with structural repair and waterproofing of the Belfry, the historically important Howard Tower Clock with its counterweights, huge hands and illuminated 14-foot dial. The repair of the once water-powered elevator will be included in the project.
It is expected to take three years to raise the $20 million dollars in municipal, state and federal funds as well private donations. The restoration will take approximately two years.
The four Springfield Campanile Project Chairs have strong ties to the City of Springfield and the 275-foot tower that sits between City Hall and Symphony Hall which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Congressman Neal was Springfield’s 50th mayor serving from 1983 to 1989. William Lowell Putnam is the son of the City’s 41st mayor, Roger Lowell Putnam who served from 1938 to 1943. Putnam has boyhood memories of climbing the hundreds of stairs inside the limestone structure. Jonathan Fantini Porter, Chief of Staff for Management: U. S. Department of Homeland Security is the great grandson of John A. Dennison who served as mayor from 1913 to 1915. Mayor Dennison presided over the Springfield Municipal Group’s grand opening in 1913, when President William Howard Taft described the municipal group has “one of the most distinctive civic centers in the United States, and indeed the world.” Mayor Domenic J. Sarno is currently serving as Springfield’s 55th mayor, he was elected to his first term in 2007.
Assisting with a school fundraising project will be PeoplesBank which has three branches in Springfield.
Springfield City Councilor Kateri Walsh has been named by City Council President Michael Fenton to serve as the liaison for the council.
CBI Consulting performed the study of the Springfield Campanile. They have an extensive background in structural engineering and historical restoration. In 2005, they restored the Everett Barney Mausoleum in Springfield’s Forest Park.
The Springfield Campanile was the tallest building in Springfield until Baystate West (now Tower Square) was built in 1973. The top of the campanile was replaced in the 1960’s. At that time, Carillion of bells worked on a solenoid system that activates strikers. The Carillion was an elaborate instrument that can be played from a console in the basement of the tower. It allows for the performance of more sophisticated tunes. In 1978, Ruth Brick was appointed the City Carillioneur and played the bells on her own schedule until the bells no longer rang.
Contributions for the Springfield Campanile Project can be made payable to Springfield Council for Cultural and Community Affairs (SCCCA) and sent to the Springfield Campanile Restoration Project, 200 Trafton Road, Springfield, MA 01108. All donations are tax-deducible to the extent allowed by law.