Damaged Avondale church steeple ends up in dumpsters - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Damaged church steeple ends up in dumpsters

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The Rev. Martin Doering watched with guarded optimism as a crane slowly removed the cross atop the steeple of his Avondale church Tuesday evening, only to have that hope dashed, when crews smashed up the remainder of the historic steeple, the Sun-Times is reporting.

After workers finally removed the first of three sections of the steeple at Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2645 W. Belmont Ave.— likely damaged during high winds Sunday — they tore apart the wood-and-shingle ornament, tossing the bits into large Dumpsters, Doering said.

"The whole process was rather disappointing, but the Lord is still with us and we're going on from here," Doering told the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday morning.

RELATED: Loose steeple atop 120-year-old Avondale church to be removed

The congregation had hoped to see the entire steeple removed and then put back again at a later date atop the 120-year old church, located at 2645 West Belmont.

"The engineers who had been part of the process of taking down the steeple had said some of the wood was so old that it was not salvageable — and maybe that was the idea that held sway," Doering said.

Doering said he'd been at his church from 7 a.m. Tuesday until after midnight. He didn't stay to see the final sections of the steeple removed. He planned to return later Wednesday.

Earlier Tuesday evening, Donna Berry shed a tear as crews carefully removed the cross atop a historic Avondale neighborhood church steeple likely damaged by wind in Sunday's dangerous storms.

A construction worker spent nearly an hour securing the cross — made of wood and covered in copper — with yellow rope. Then he sawed it off from the wind-damaged steeple.

By 6 p.m., the cross was dangling from the rope, high above the neighborhood, before being carefully placed in a construction vehicle. Parishioners said the cross will be stored in a ward yard.

Berry said the cross has been in full view of her condominium since she moved to the neighborhood 13 years ago:.

"It made me very sad because this cross is a very important part of our lives. I have two kids here and we see that cross every day, and now it won't be there tomorrow morning when we wake up," said Berry, 46. "I'm happy they saved it and can't wait to see where they're actually placing it, but again, something that you have for so long is gone and you can't help but feel a little bit sad."

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