Skip to comments.St. Patrick's Church's bell tower in Watervliet refuses to come down
Posted on 05/13/2013 6:28:08 PM PDT by NYer
WATERVLIET -- Parts of the bell tower of Saint Patrick's church in Watervliet came crashing down late Friday morning. But most of the structure remained standing. Moments later, a few more columns were ripped out. The bell tower itself didn't go anywhere.
Then all eyes were fixated on the structure when several cranes started pulling on steel cables hooked up to the top corners of the tower. Some residents who fought to stop the demolition, prayed for the cables to snap. Their prayers were answered. The steel cables and cranes were no match. The bell tower remains.
"It doesn't want to come down. She's going to stay. Some people think it's divine intervention," said Watervliet resident Cassandra Wellworth. "I think it's proof the stability of this tower was misjudged."
"Some of us said that God is holding the tower down, keeping it from going anywhere," Watervliet resident Michael Calacone added. "And you know the way it's going, I'm getting to believe it."
The cables also snapped on Thursday. The demolition crew spent most of Thursday evening re-cabling the bell tower. Now they're going to bring in a bigger crane, according to Nigro Companies, the developer that will replace the church with a supermarket and shopping area.
"Either bring in much bigger cables or bring in the ball. Because I don't know how else they're going to take this down," Calacone said."/>
Early May 2013
How A Great Bell Takes Shape. The inside of core mold of the great 7,500-pound bell just completed and hung in the tower of St. Patrick's Church, Watervliet. Photo by F.F. Lotz, January 7, 1907. The Troy Times.
The bell was made as a gift from the Holy Name Society of the Parish and cost $3500. There are two inscriptions on it, one the name of the foundry and date and the other:
In nomine Jesu genu
Terrestrium et infernorum
St. Patricks Church
West Troy, Watervliet, N.Y.
Holy Name Society
George E. Hipwood, Prest.,
Joseph T. Cavanaugh
Thomas F., McLoughlin, Treas.
Rev. W.F. Sheehan, M. R. Pastor
The Latin loosely translates to In The Name of Jesus, Should bow heavenly, Earth and of Hell.
The demolition crew returned today and, once again, were unsuccessful in tearing down the tower. They plan to come back tomorrow, with larger equipment. Diving intervention?
St. Patrick's Church? Well it is only a replica of the Grotto of Lourdes Church in France and is one of the most impressive structures in the Capital District and can be seen for miles. The almost 150 foot bell tower is in fact very special.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
Replacing the church with a supermarket? Taking away the source of living water for one of bottled water.
I remember when they put bells in St. Michael’s church a few blocks from my house. Michael, Mary, and Salvatori (sp?).
They put them on display in the parking lot for a few days. My pal and I went to look at them (I think we were 6 or 7 at the time). We wanted to hear what they sounded like so one of us (can’t remember who) picked up a rock an wacked one. Instantly a priest appeared yelled at us and chased us for about 3 blocks before he gave up. Oh man were we scared.
Apparently we didn’t do any damage because they’ve been ringing now for 40 years.
I wonder if my ancestors worked on it, they were known as church builders when they came to America according to our family history.
Do you know if they did work here in the Capital Region of New York State? Within a short distance of each other, are the cities of Watervliet, Troy and Cohoes. In all 3, ethnic groups built Catholic Churches, some only a few blocks from each other.