The Freedom Trail Foundation presented “big checks” on Tuesday to celebrate grants for Copp’s Hill Burying Ground and Old North Church as part of major restoration projects at both North End historic sites. Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Parks Commissioner Antonia M. Pollak, Reverand Stephen T. Ayres, representatives of the Freedom Trail Foundation, Old North Church Foundation, and City of Boston took part at the Copp’s Hill Burying Ground on Hull Street.
The Freedom Trail Foundation, the official non-profit organization responsible for promoting and helping to preserve Boston’s 16 Freedom Trail sites, is awarding a total of $100,000 to two historic sites. Both located in the North End, Old North Church, Boston’s oldest church building, and Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Historic Burying Ground Initiative’s Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Boston’s second oldest burying ground, are recipients of the Foundation’s second annual Preservation Fund grant.
In preparation for Old North Church’s 300th anniversary in 2023, the Freedom Trail Foundation’s grant of $75,000 will support the restoration and painting of its iconic steeple and masonry repair. Standing at 191 feet tall and last restored 12 years ago, the Old North Church steeple is in great need of scraping and repainting.
Boston’s Historic Burying Ground Initiative will receive $25,000 for Copp’s Hill Burying Ground to assist with a significant, ornamental ironwork restoration. The grant will support the repair of deteriorated cast- and wrought-iron plot fences and an old cast-iron drinking fountain in the center of the site as part of the project, which also includes major work to fencing along Charter Street. Dating back to the 1840s, various sections of ironwork has been repaired or restored over time; the last ironwork to receive attention was a short portion of fence 11 years ago.
The Freedom Trail Foundation’s Preservation Fund supports beautification, preservation, and capital projects for official Freedom Trail sites. It is designed to help avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse effects of the elements and man-made wear and tear on Boston’s precious 17th, 18th, and 19th century sites. In 2011, the Foundation granted its first Preservation Fund award of $125,000 to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to help fund historic landscape restoration of the Granary Burying Ground.