Next in line: Tower getting revamp

The next goal for Friends of First Christian Church Architecture will be raising $25,000 to research the best way to preserve the church’s iconic 166-foot tower.

A structural engineer soon will examine the complementary building. And an architectural historian soon will compile some of the history of the campanile.

One of that structure’s problems is that it is holding moisture, said Steve Wiggins, part of the advisory board for the Friends group, and local architect Louis Joyner. Plus, Joyner mentioned that the facility’s bricks have cracked in some areas.

“We’ll need to find some additional help through Indiana Landmarks, foundations or corporations to help get the building back (in shape),” Wiggins said. “And we think there are some good avenues to do that.”

Besides the tower, future refurbishing will include work on:

Some of the church windows overlooking the courtyard.

The underpinning of the courtyard bridge.

Church steps at each entrance.

Richard McCoy, director of Landmark Columbus, one of the partners on the project, believes sufficient support can be found for the remainder of the work.

“I’m an optimistic guy, and I always think anything is possible,” McCoy said. “We’re already making headway.”

Alan Gilbert, a First Christian Church trustee and chair of the Friends’ advisory board, said there is no strict timetable on the tower effort.

“We want to take the appropriate time with it, but we’re also eager to get on with it,” Gilbert said.

How to help

People interested in donating to fund physical improvements at First Christian Church in Columbus can do so at landmarkcolumbus.org/ffcca

Author photo
Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.