The Clock Tower ProjectFor 130 years, St. Mark's Clock Tower has stood strong in Southborough's Historic Town Center. With preservation, it can stand for many years to come.
Proposed Restoration Project Details
After 130 years, St. Mark’s Clock and Bell Tower needs restoration. During that time, St. Mark’s bells have rung, keeping time, supporting patriotic and civil holidays. The Tower is part of the fabric of Southborough.
The preservation restriction held by the Massachusetts Historic Commission requires St. Mark’s to apply to all available funding sources for restoration of the tower, including funds available from the Southborough CPA. St. Mark’s is obligated to maintain the architectural appearance of the church and tower and intends to do so. Preservation architects Spencer, Sullivan and Vogt—who directed the preservation of the Southborough Library and have been advising for Southborough Town Hall—gave this comprehensive analysis:
- Existing mortar joints are covered with hard and impervious mortar (due to ongoing repointing work done over the years as the style of mortar changed)
- Mortar joints are cracking and deteriorating due to combination of early mortar shrinkage, weathering, & structural movements.
- Facing stones delaminating from the back-up construction at the ashlar wall surfaces due to loss of bond.
- Oriented cracks within the structure relating to structural movements or secondary effects of internal masonry expansion.
- All buttresses are in a state of expansive failure & are slowly peeling off the tower.
- Stones on the exterior are cracked, badly spalled & must be repaired or replaced.
- Phase 1 was completed in 2019 with Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) grant of $50,000 and St. Mark’s Church contributing $73,357. This phase comprised 20% of total project, and focused on tower roof restoration, protecting the building envelope from water penetration, and rebuilding the southwest corner buttresses.
- Southborough CPA Grant request of $300,000 to partially fund project.
- 2021 application made for additional MHC grant of $50,000.
- Total Projected Cost: $750,000.
Full Project Details from Spencer, Sullivan, & Vogt, Preservation Architects.