WATERBURY— Overlooking the Waterbury skyline there is one building that will soon change. The Spires at St. Anne’s Church or the Shrine of St. Anne are coming down after being up for almost 100-years.
Church leaders say after years of wear and tear the only responsible thing to do is to tear them down.
Jared Whipple is the maintenance supervisor for the church and says the church attracts both tourists and believers alike. “I’ve watched almost everyday this building pull people off the highway almost on a daily basis”
For the time being Whipple says he’s had to watch the spires deteriorate from rain and neglect causing a safety concern.
Whipple said, “It’s been tough, I been thinking about it for a long time, one of the only guys who go up there you know and checks the leaks.”
Officials say when marble bricks fell down from the spire at St. Anne’s Church is when they immediately knew something needed to be done.
The church also saw cracks alongside the spires, but according to church leaders its the interior of spires that’s making it unsafe.
Deacon Paul Iadarola explains, “To repair them in place means ripping off the fiber glass, but when you rip off the fiber glass you, you rip off the brick and it’s going to collapse both internally and externally so we have no choice but to take them down.”
All Saints Parish which presided over the church hired Cenaxo of Willington to help deconstruct the towers for over $800,000.
The hope is to rebuild the spires, but lower and more stable.
Officials say the price is steep, but only because of the manual labor involved.
Deacon Iadarola said, “Cover the roofs and secure the netting and then piece by piece it’s all got to be done by hand.”
Leaders hope the work can be done by August so members can come home.
Deacon Iadarola said, “The older members who been here all their life who are born into this parish are very upset a lot of tears and crying because they want this church saved.”
The last week of May or the first week of June, church leaders are set to host a community meeting to inform the public about the next steps for the spires.