WNYT.com

St. Patrick's Church's bell tower in Watervliet refuses to come down

Posted at: 05/10/2013 5:51 PM
By: Dan Bazile

WATERVLIET -- Parts of the bell tower of Saint Patrick's church in Watervliet came crashing down late Friday morning. But most of the structure remained standing. Moments later, a few more columns were ripped out. The bell tower itself didn't go anywhere.

Then all eyes were fixated on the structure when several cranes started pulling on steel cables hooked up to the top corners of the tower. Some residents who fought to stop the demolition, prayed for the cables to snap. Their prayers were answered. The steel cables and cranes were no match. The bell tower remains.

"It doesn't want to come down. She's going to stay. Some people think it's divine intervention," said Watervliet resident Cassandra Wellworth. "I think it's proof the stability of this tower was misjudged."

"Some of us said that God is holding the tower down, keeping it from going anywhere," Watervliet resident Michael Calacone added. "And you know the way it's going, I'm getting to believe it."

The cables also snapped on Thursday. The demolition crew spent most of Thursday evening re-cabling the bell tower. Now they're going to bring in a bigger crane, according to Nigro Companies, the developer that will replace the church with a supermarket and shopping area.

"Either bring in much bigger cables or bring in the ball. Because I don't know how else they're going to take this down," Calacone said.