Refurbishing of the iconic, 166-foot, brick First Christian Church tower in Columbus, Ind., is expected to be completed Dec. 4. Additionally, the tower’s fund-raising effort is within $50,000 of its $3.1 million goal, which recently was revised downward from $3.2 million because construction work this year has come in under budget.
“I am just as much in awe of this fundraising process as I am at the actual structural rehabilitation,” Jeff Logston, chairman of the First Christian Capital Projects Fundraising Committee, told The Republic newspaper. Logston said he has been impressed by donors’ generosity, which has included not just church members, but also local folks, grant agencies, and a host of other campaign partners. Key project movers have been Landmark Columbus Foundation and Heritage Fund—the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County.
Local architect Louis Joyner has helped guide the project.
“This has been honestly an awe-inspiring process to see such great collaboration across all these involved groups,” Logston told the newspaper.
The church and tower were designed in 1942 by renowned architect Eliel Saarinen. The church’s design helped launch the Columbus community’s flourishing commitment to internationally recognized Modernist architecture.
An event billed as “Towering Achievement: Community Celebration” will help commemorate the soon-to-be-completed project, for which fund-raising began in the church in 2018 and spread to the community in 2020.
Organist Lisa Lohmeyer will perform on FCC’s Aeolian-Skinner keyboard in a free, public concert from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 12. Famous towers from around the world will be highlighted in the program—the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the London Bridge tower, Rapunzel’s tower, and FCC’s tower.
Philharmonic musicians, instrumental and singing soloists, and a children’s choir also will perform. (Register for a free ticket through eventbrite.com.)
“Everybody who attends will find something to love,” Lohmeyer told The Republic.