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St. Paul church looking to restore historic Summit Avenue steeple

Cities Church in St. Paul raising money to restore historic steeple
Cities Church in St. Paul raising money to restore historic steeple 01:45

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Cities Church has owned the former Church on the Hill for four years, a tiny fraction of the building's more than 110-year existence on Summit Avenue in St. Paul.

One that dates back even further back, to its original 1850s Lowertown location.

"They built this building with the original stones of that first building," said Jonathan Parnell, Lead Pastor for Cities Church.

The designer, Emmanuel Masqueray, also notable for landmarks like the St. Paul Cathedral and the Basilica in Minneapolis.

"We've been able to do some significant renovations to the space," said Parnell.

But there's a higher, more ambitious restoration, he said — one that's 125 feet up.

"The next big project is tackling the steeple," Parnell said.


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It's all part of Cities Church's efforts to "Save Our Steeple."

The last 40 years in particular have been unkind to the structure. Restoration efforts will focus on replacing stones, mortar and adding lighting.

"Really we want to restore it to the original glory it was intended for," said Parnell.

It's a fix-up that's not exactly cheap.

"One point two million is a lot for a steeple restoration," said Parnell.

So far they've raised a little more than 10% of that.

"We think that this is a project that this community could get excited about," said Parnell.

A project, that if all goes as planned, could be complete by July.

"It's been sitting there for well over 100 years and we want it to sit there for another 100 years," said Parnell.

The church will be holding an open house, where people can get a behind-the-scenes look at the work that's being done. That's June 9 at 4 p.m.

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