Press "Enter" to skip to content

Streets to stay closed as razing of abandoned church in Reading continues

Areas of Perkiomen Avenue and Spruce Street will remain closed until at least early next week due to ongoing emergency work on unstable portions of an abandoned church, city officials said Friday.

The former St. Cecilia’s Chapel at 1340 Perkiomen Avenue already had masonry problems, but the situation worsened last week.

The roof of the church’s bell tower fell into the building some time ago, a crack developed on the tower’s western side, and drone images showed separation of the joints and spacing between the structure’s stones, Reading Fire Marshal Jeremy Searfoss previously told the Reading Eagle.

After officials noticed that the church’s steeple was in danger of collapse, the city’s buildings and trades division brought in a contractor for an emergency demolition of the bell tower.

The crumbling steeple at the former St. Cecilia's Chapel at Spruce Street and Perkiomen Avenue is in danger of imminent collapse. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
The crumbling steeple at the former St. Cecilia’s Chapel at Spruce Street and Perkiomen Avenue is in danger of imminent collapse. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Both sides of the road were closed last week, and work to dismantle the steeple began Monday.

That work will continue as the city addresses safety concerns at the site, and the area will remain closed to thru traffic, officials said in a press release Friday.

Perkiomen Avenue is closed from Mineral Spring Road to South 14th Street, and Spruce Street is closed from Mineral Spring Road to Miller Street, officials said.

The closures will be in effect until at least early next week, officials said, with updates provided as the situation evolves.

Originally St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, the structure was built as a mission chapel and funded by the Heizmann family, owners of the now defunct Penn Hardware Company, local historian George M. Meiser IX said.

The property is owned by Total Family Christian Center Inc., according to online county records.

Spires were dismantled Monday from the tower of the former St. Cecilia's Chapel at Perkiomen Avenue and Spruce Street. Sections of the two streets have been closed since Friday because of the feared imminent collapse of the steeple of the abandoned and decayed church. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Spires were dismantled Monday from the tower of the former St. Cecilia’s Chapel at Perkiomen Avenue and Spruce Street. Sections of the two streets have been closed since Friday because of the feared imminent collapse of the steeple of the abandoned and decayed church. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)


Source: Berkshire mont

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply