Construction continues on historic church bell towers in Paducah

Construction continues at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in downtown Paducah.

If you’ve driven down Broadway lately, the sound of construction can be heard echoing from the bell towers.

The church was built in 1896. Now, it’s Brian James’ job to bring the towers back to life.

"You want to get it as close as possible to what was originally there," says James. "It’s wonderful. I mean you get to work on something that will hopefully be here another 100 years."

James is senior project manager with Ray Black & Son, a local construction company.

"It’s a special project, and all the gentlemen working on the project they have a real passion for it," says James.

Aluminum siding was added to the towers in the early 1980s, covering up a lot of the detail and making it a bit difficult to replicate.

"With a little research, you can uncover a lot of neat stuff," says James.

James says he dug through archives and found some old photos that are helping him recreate the bell towers.

"Pretty instrumental in understanding the level of detail that originally existed," says James.

It’s a piece of history James hopes will last for generations to come.

The project’s price tag is about $1.3 million. That also includes upgrades the HVAC system and other needs around the church. Members of the congregation are raising money to help pay for the bell tower project. It’s expected to be finished sometime in August.

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