In 2005, our Tower of Memories underwent mortar restoration and surface repairs after the removal of ivy vines. The restoration at this time was largely accredited to a sizable donation from The Fitch Foundation in an effort to preserve what F.W. Fitch had envisioned and brought to fruition during his time as HMG Board President in the 1930’s. At that time, the exterior repairs were deemed highest priority and interior repairs were not an immediate need. We are nearly 18 years later and the Tower has brought to our attention its need for change once again. In addition to more stone repair, the Tower has fallen victim to the elements and is in need of much more extensive repair than it received in 2005.
Our grounds crew began noticing stone on the ground around the Tower that had crumbled and fallen off over the last few years. During that time, our Board and management consulted with contractors in pursuit of estimates. As contractors inspected the Tower, it became clear that the work needed was throughout the entire structure – both inside and out. Moisture had begun infiltrating through cracks in the stone and had also made its way to the inside rooms and belfry. The wood louvers that allow the music to be heard during burial services are experiencing decay and the electrical system needs replaced. When the full damage had been realized and estimates provided, much discussion was had about how to move forward. The cost seemed too high and the idea of tearing down the Tower was put on the discussion table.
The removal of the Tower of Memories was seriously considered and, thankfully, the importance of honoring history prevailed. A commitment was made to devise a plan to save the Tower and preserve what it stands for – endurance, reverence, protection, stability and hope. While there was no doubt that a contractor would be available to do the work, our identity as a non-profit organization placed a financial limitation on us. We would have to raise the money.