On Dec. 5, a fire destroyed the southeast corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street, including the neighboring Middle Collegiate Church.
As previously reported, the fire spared the steeple and its historic contents — the New York Liberty Bell, which dates to the early 1700s.
And yesterday morning, workers removed the bell from the belfry to transport it to the New York Historical Society, where it will be part of an exhibit on the resiliency of NYC for the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
EVG contributor Stacie Joy was there to capture the delicate operation to move the bell to its temporary new home on Central Park West...
the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis from Middle Collegiate Church rang it 19 times in honor of Juneteenth ... and for a celebration of liberty...
Those involved also wanted to give a shout-out to the crews from the DOB, Triton Construction and Gramercy for their professionalism in ensuring a safe transfer of the bell ... And some history of the bell via the Times:
Today, we saved the New Liberty Bell from our belfry, and I rang it 19 times for freedom.— Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis (@RevJacquiLewis) June 16, 2021
Make no mistake: We aren’t liberated yet. But damn it, we’ll be free ✊🏾❤️ pic.twitter.com/oYLusCllDZ
It is about 25 years older than the cracked Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, according to a 1959 New York Times article.Cast in Amsterdam in 1729, the bell was rung in 1735 to celebrate freedom of the press after John Peter Zenger, a German journalist, was acquitted of charges of seditious libel. He had published criticism of British tax collectors, according to the Times article.
It also was rung on the day that Representative John Lewis died in July and a week after the presidential election to celebrate "that love and justice" prevailed...
The bell will be housed in the New York Historical Society lobby until the church is rebuilt. Find out how you can help support the rebuild at this link.
The FDNY previously said that faulty wiring at 48 E. Seventh St. was to blame for the six-alarm fire. An FDNY spokesperson told 1010 WINS that the fire has been deemed "non-suspicious."