A crane is stationed on Main Street to accommodate the removal of the steeple at FirstSarasota church.
A segment of Main Street between Pine Place and Adelia Avenue is closed as crews work to remove the steeple at FirstSarasota church.
The street closure went into effect Monday morning and is scheduled to remain in place through 5 p.m. Tuesday, the city announced. The northern segment of the sidewalk on Main Street is also closed.
Church Administrator Don Boyd said the impetus for the project dates back to Hurricane Irma. The 2017 storm knocked the cross off the top of the church and damaged the structure of the steeple. The Baptist church decided last year to replace the steeple.
After completing the removal of a portion of the steeple this week, Boyd said the church hopes to have the replacement structure in place by the end of the month.
Although the steeple dates back to 1962, Boyd said there was no sadness within the church about replacing it with a replica.
“It’s a building,” Boyd said. “What we do inside to equip ourselves to go outside and do the Lord’s work, that’s the important thing.”
Still, even for non-churchgoers, he said the steeple has become a sort of architectural landmark within the downtown area.
“That steeple’s kind of like a part of the skyline of Sarasota,” Boyd said. “You come over the Ringling bridge, and that’s what you see in the distance there.”