Greensburg rallies to save bell tower for Hose Company No. 8
Greensburg firefighters are continuing fundraising efforts to repair the bell tower at Hose Company No. 8 on Highland Avenue.
“We're in the process of turning to foundations,” said Clyde Snyder, who is helping to spearhead the effort. “We figure it's going to cost us somewhere around $70,000 to do the whole bell tower.
“We're going to look at some other fundraising, too,” he added.
So far, a committee involving firefighters and city officials has raised $8,000.
“I think it's about preserving history, and I also think members of No. 8 take a lot of pride in the symbolism of that bell,” said City Administrator Sue Trout, a committee member.
City council may vote in the near future on contributing funds from the fire department capital equipment fund to help provide matching funds for the project, Trout said.
Engineers suggested adding steel beams to support the bell, Snyder said.
The planned work will include adding a new cupola and restoring the bell.
Until construction starts, the tower will be sealed.
“It leaks, but it's structurally sound,” Snyder added.
“There are very few bell towers left in fire stations in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” he said.
Snyder hopes the work can start next year.
The limited number of towers makes preserving No. 8's more necessary, Snyder said.
The bell came from Ludlow, Vt., and was forged in 1907.
If the tower isn't restored, Snyder said last year, the company will probably need to tear it down and put a roof on the Colonial-revival building that has served the community since the 1930s.
Many firefighters and residents would hate to see a roof added, Snyder said.
Prior to the advent of two-way radios, the station's gong and bell were the only way to notify volunteer firefighters of an alarm, fire officials said.
During the 1940s, young members of the company slept in the bell tower because the station lacked sleeping facilities.
None of the other Greensburg companies has a bell tower, though several put the bells that were in them out in front of their stations, Snyder said.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Greensburg student is new Miss Teen of Pa.
- Facebook fans fancy ‘I’m So Greensburg’
- Hempfield teen builds new benches for high school pool