St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in East Haddam, CT is an integral part of the fabric of the Village Center, adjacent to the Nathan Hale House, and is a landmark on the CT River. The church’s stone and wood shingle exterior was showing signs of its age and put the Church’s stained glass windows and plaster detailing at risk of deterioration due to on-going leaks. Also at risk was the Church’s bell, which is believed to have originally been cast for a Spanish monastery, and dates back to 815 AD, making it the oldest known bell in the Western Hemisphere. In order to secure funding, the project required on-site and library research to establish architectural and historical significance, and to identify a prioritized list of required repair and restoration work.
Following this research, and the receipt of a Grant from the Connecticut Department of Culture and Tourism, phase one of the restoration was completed in 2012, which restored a complex cedar roof, façade and towers. Additional grant funds were secured for the next phase of renovations, which are planned for 2014.