Holy Cross Catholic Church

Lynchburg, Virginia

The freestanding campanile of Holy Cross Catholic Church was designed by architect, Edward G. Frye, and built in 1899 as a permanent housing for the historic church bell. An inspection of the 113 year-old structure in 2012 revealed the need for roof replacement, masonry repair and restoration of the stamped tin cornice. Consequently, this work was added to the church’s Sanctuary Roof and Steeple Restoration Project and slated for historic tax credits. Architectural Partners worked with Master Engineers, Midland Engineering, and Lynchburg Restoration to quickly envelop this work into the already ongoing project for the sanctuary.


A scaffolding system was erected for the entire fifty-two foot height of the campanile. The roof was repaired and re-sheathed, the original copper replaced with new 20-oz copper matching the original design. The existing hidden gutter profile was adjusted for better drainage in addition to replacement of all interior downspouts. The stamped metal cornice was carefully inspected, measured, and documented. Due to its excessive deterioration, the decision was made to replace the existing cornice with an entirely new copper fabricated duplicate. The built-up roofing system of the Belfry floor was repaired as well as structural framing (where powder-post beetle damage was evident). Sandstone sills and brick masonry were likewise repaired and restored. The entire exterior of the campanile was cleaned following National Park Service standards with a new copper cross installed at the peak of the roof. The bell itself was cleaned and re-lubricated for continued use.


Following construction and inspection by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the tax credit application was approved. This historic tower, prominent in the silhouette of Lynchburg’s skyline, now stands secure for twenty-first century.