Old North Church received the support of the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) and Residents Association (NEWRA) regarding the use of community preservation act funds to make the Old North crypt handicap accessible. Rev. Stephen T. Ayres, Vicar and Old North Foundation Executive Director, presented the plans at the September 2018 community meetings.
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) provides money for local projects in the areas of historic preservation, affordable housing, and parks and open space. As part of the application process, groups must present their project at community meetings.
Both neighborhood groups voted unanimously to support Old North’s application for CPA funds.
Watch the presentation and follow along with the timeline below.
(0:25) Rev. Steven Ayres discusses Old North’s multi-year restoration. The first project is to restore the crypt containing 1,100 bodies and 37 tombs. In order to make the crypt handicap accessible, Old North is looking to open a new entrance on the rear of the Church. The highlighted part of the diagram below shows the entrance to be made handicap accessible.(1:38) It’s a $900,00 project. Old North has already acquired some support from the state and National Parks Service. They are asking for $25,000 of CPA funding.
(3:32) The question of why CPA money is raised. Rev. Ayres explains there is private money already included. There have been some legal issues with CPA going to churches; however, Old North is an exception because they are a national landmark and the crypt is not being used for religious purposes.
A similar presentation was made at the meeting of North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) on September 13, 2018. That video is shown below.
Old North hopes to begin the restoration of the crypt in 2019.