DETROIT (WWJ) – Efforts are underway to fix the leaning steeple of a historic church in downtown Detroit.

The tip of the steeple at Fort Street Presbyterian Church, along Fort Street at 3rd Avenue, is leaning back toward the church building, some say at a 40 degree angle. On Tuesday, efforts to repair the spire began.

During repairs, a large crane will occupy a traffic lane for approximately two weeks. As a precaution, 3rd Avenue is closed between Congress and Fort.

Church officials say the steeple was damaged in a 2017 windstorm. Although the top spire is leaning, church officials say the steeple structure is secure and firmly attached to the building.

Reconstruction of the steeple will cost in excess of $100,000. An insurance settlement is being used for a majority of the costs. The church is also currently seeking additional donations of approximately $40,000.

Fort Street Presbyterian Church was built in 1855 and is listed on both the National and State registers of historic places. The church is often described as one of the finest examples of English Gothic architecture in America. In addition to Sunday worship, the building hosts dozens of weddings; houses active small group community outreach programs; is home to “The Open Door,” a 50-year-old care and feeding program for needy and homeless individuals; and the Fort Street Chorale sacred music program.

Anyone interested in making a contribution to help with the repairs, should contact the church at 313-961-4533.

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