First Congregational Church, Williamstown, MA
The First Congregational Church in Williamstown, MA celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2015. Rebuilding, fires, removals and additions may have changed the appearance of the building from its original small wood structure, but the importance of the church to the community at large has held steady. In preparation for their next 250 years, the church leadership requested an evaluation of the building to determine any deficiencies that they will address in future reconstruction.
As part of a larger team consisting of architects, mechanical engineers and civil engineers, Engineering Ventures conducted a structural evaluation for the church.
The site visit consisted of almost the entire building – including attempting to climb inside the steeple! But, due to the cold February weather and limited access to the uppermost peak, they could only make it up to a certain level. The team had compiled drone pictures of the steeple. Those pictures, along with visual confirmation of the interior, were enough to determine that its steel frame was in good shape but needed some refinishing.
After a close look at the other levels of the church, EV determined that the remainder of the building only needed some minor repairs and refurbishments. Other than that, it has held up great over the years!
Fun fact: The clocks on each of the four sides of the steeple are controlled by a single clock in the center! This clock has to be wound once per week, and has been running for the last 100 years. (Source)