PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Tourists at Independence Hall are now learning about what has been going on behind all of that scaffolding for the past year. CBS 3’s Pat Ciarrocchi climbed 14 flights of metal steps to get a closer look.
The spire atop the Independence Hall clock tower has a certain sparkle.
“We took the tower, the wood structure actually back to it structural frame,” explained Charles Tonelli, chief historic architect leading the $4.4 million federal restoration project. “I look at it as more intimidating.”
“It’s impressive when it comes together like this,” said Dennis Wattlaufur, one of the workers who was painstakingly working on every crevice of the carved molding with a caulk gun and a finishing knife.
“It’s not something you do every day you know,” Wattlaufur said of working on such a historic building. “For you to know that you did something and that no one else did, it’s pretty cool.”
You do not have time to make a mistake when you are rebuilding four giant clock faces on this historic landmark. The roman numerals are now catching the sunlight after being refreshed with gold leaves. With the decorative scrim lowered, the weather vane is more visible on its 30-foot-long stainless steel spindle which doubles as a lightning rod.
The full reveal, without scaffolding, is set for December.
Reported by Pat Ciarrocchi, CBS 3