October 05, 2000 Harvard
University Gazette


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Working their way to top

By Ken Gewertz
Gazette Staff
Photo of steeple jack Dave Bowen
Steeple jack Dave Bowen swings out to change his position while repainting the bell tower of Memorial Church (above). Perched at the very top, a steeple jack works on Memorial Church's weather vane, replacing its gold leaf (right). Below, Dan Morin paints a window frame. Staff photos by Justin Ide
Photo of Dan Morin
Photo of Memorial Church weather vane
The giant box kite that seems to have become impaled on the Memorial Church spire is actually scaffolding erected by American Steeple and Tower, a company that painted the church steeple over the summer and is now regilding the spire, including the weather vane and the gold ball below it. The last time the spire was regilded was 1975.

Photo of Memorial Church steeple
Rising to 265 feet, the church has the honor of being the tallest in New England. Its height includes the metal spire, culminating in a weather vane in the form of a medieval battle pennant topped by a large crown in which two openings form Greek crosses.

Its position atop the lofty spire as well as its shiny surface make the weather vane a prominent landmark, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon when the sun turns it to a shimmering gold flame against the sky.

Copyright 2000 President and Fellows of Harvard College