Iconic Roanoke Steeples Need Major Repairs

Roanoke, VA - The historic and iconic steeples of St. Andrew's Church in Roanoke are in need of major restoration.

The church has been one of the hallmark sites anyone coming to Roanoke sees and has been for more than a century. This news of much needed repairs has church officials looking in all directions for ways to pay for it.

At the beginning of the 20th century, St. Andrew's Church was already towering over the new city of Roanoke. It was just 20 years old at the time.

More than a century later, and those steeples are still there still towering over downtown, welcoming everyone who comes.

But the time has taken its toll.

"They are showing their age. They're 110 years old and been exposed to all the elements that you can expect. And beginning to show deterioration to the point that they do need repair and restoration," said Miller.

Last week Father Miller put out a notice to the St. Andrew's community telling them what he knows and the challenge ahead.

The information isn't much yet but what is known is over the years birds, termites, water... have all combined to bring on this challenge.

"You name it has all the things that steeples are afflicted by; they've borne the weight of that over all these years," said Miller.

Funds are already coming in from parishioners.

Grants, due to the building's historic nature, may be another option.

Beyond that Father Miller suggests the project could be made easier by community involvement; considering what these steeples mean to the valley.

"I'd like to think the most iconic building in the city here. So I think the city takes pride in it and we do try to preserve it to keep its historic value for the community as well as ourselves," said Miller.

Assistant City Manager Brian Townsend said Thursday that he could envision the city helping the church with support during any grant process that is initiated but said the separation of church and state would prevent the city from considering any direct funding using taxpayer money.