There goes a part of history,” exclaimed Laguna Presbyterian’s Worship Leader, Beth Pinney, as the enormous wooden ladder that led to the top of the tower constructed in 1927, was lowered by crane. The historic church, located in the heart of Laguna Beach, is undergoing major reconstruction for earthquake safety, waterproofing, handicap accessibility, re-roofing, and interior restoration to its authentic Spanish Colonial Style architecture. A new similar bell tower covered in plaster, and an interior ladder, are made of steel. A waterproofed membrane and drainage system will be installed to replace the old one which project Manager, Bruce Hampton said, “Was like cellulose from dry rot.”
Pinney and Hampton both told stories of climbing the old ladder. Hampton said, “It was one of the scariest things in the world, climbing that ladder and trying to push open the hatch at the top, ”while the younger Pinney exclaimed, “It was so much fun!” Hampton further explained that a pneumatic hatch will replace the wooden one that required a balancing act to open, and that the new tower actually supports the restored building with a huge concrete slab below. The original brass bell, not seen in years, will be hung from the new safer tower.
If you wish to see more photos of the reconstruction, or donate towards the 11 million dollar restoration of Laguna’s historic treasure, visit the web site at www.lagunapreschurch.org. Please indicate that your tax deductable donation is for “preserving history restoration program”