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Renovations Underway on Iconic Bangor Steeple 

Located in the heart of downtown Bangor, the Hammond Street Congregational Church has been a fixture in the community since it was built in 1833.”Hammond Street has offered outreach programs for many many years probably one of the most widely used is the economical food cupboard,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees Brad Ryder.In 1982, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.But the church’s steeple, one the highest points in the city, is showing signs of old age which prompted the church’s Board of Trustees to give it a facelift.”We really felt that it’s just such an icon that it was important to do a repair rather than look at other options that meant taking down,” Ryder said.Scaffolding began going up last month to make way for the renovations being funded by the church.The steeple stands one hundred forty feet tall.”The front of the church starts at the ground with the scaffolding as you can see that’s the easy part, the sides had to be on that small roof you see over my soldier but they had to built support internally to take that weight,” said Larry Blethen, who currently serves as the liasion between the contractors and the church.Aside from being a Bangor icon, the steeple plays an important role to Verizon Wireless customers, there’s an antenna system hidden inside.We contacted Verizon to see if the renovations would interrupt service, but a spokesperson tells us they do not expect any customer impact.Since construction began, crews have been hit with inclement weather, which has set the project back by a few days.”We do have some leakage and that’s what’s caused us some concern is that water has been draining in because of the age of the structure,” Blethen said.But it hasn’t dampened their spirits nor has it watered down their goal to restore the steeple to its original glory which is expected to take another two months to accomplish.Anyone interested in contributing to the steeple renovation project can contact the church office at 942-4381.