Demolition of St. Patrick’s bell tower to continue Monday after - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Demolition of St. Patrick’s bell tower to continue Monday after cable failures


WATERVLIET, N.Y. - Demolition crews will continue tearing down the 137-foot bell tower of the historic St. Patrick's Church in Watervliet on Monday after several set backs delayed crews on Thursday and Friday.

Demolition has been well underway for several weeks at St. Patrick's Church. On Thursday, a large crane was expected to secure and begin removing the last remaining piece, now it is expected to happen Monday.

For the demolition, crews had to attach cables to the side of the building to use force from the side to knock it down, but ran into problems when a cable broke on Thursday and again on Friday.

The company conducting the demolition, Nigro Companies has released the following statement:

"Work to dismantle the bell tower of the former St. Patrick's Church in Watervliet will resume next week. Preparatory work will continue this weekend but, consistent with Watervliet city policy, no demolition will occur on the weekend.

Our main concern has been, and remains, to do this work safely and with as little impact as possible to the surrounding community. This is why the pace of the work has been deliberate and step-wise and why we have used exclusively mechanical means to carry it out. We will continue to coordinate our work closely with Watervliet city officials. We appreciate the community's patience."

Dozens have come to Watervliet to see the final demolition of Saint Patrick's Church. The focus on the 137-foot tall bell tower, the top 30 feet of the building, and bringing it down.

"I'm astonished at how they are going to do all this, it's fascinating how engineers come up with all this," said Jerard Davignon.

"I'm trying not to cry, it breaks my heart to see this church go," said Sharon Wemple, born a raised in Watervliet. "They're having problems, apparently the cable has broken, I don't know if that is divine intervention or a poor cable, but I think its closure. People want closure.

One Clifton Park couple, who was married at the church 56-years ago, came to witness the demolition on Thursday.

The iconic bell tower is all that remains of the 170-year-old church. A portion of the historical structure was salvaged and is now on display outside the Watervliet Historical Society. The gold-painted Meneely bell was removed from the tower in February and went on display for the first time Tuesday.

Other parts of the church are also serving as personal memorabilia, as some residents took the opportunity to collect bricks set out by construction crews in past weeks.

A Price Chopper supermarket and two smaller commercial buildings are slated to be built by developers on the site where the landmark church once stood.

There have been several lawsuits and opposition from within the community regarding the plan; many residents have personal connections to the church and didn't want to see it torn down.

The developers say some of the bricks that made up St. Patrick's will be incorporated in the new building.

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