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Thursday October 13th, 2011

Posted at 4:42pm

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The future of the beginning of Windsor, Assumption Church — which we’ve written about extensively in the past — is undertaking a massive philanthropy project to restore the crumbling structure to it’s mid-1800s glory.

At a media event this afternoon, fundraisers charged with the task of raising almost ten million dollars for the building made announcements about major community organizations that have contributed to the project.

Assumption, originally a small chapel, formed the core of the tiny Sandwich community at the time, and the eventual Windsor-region grew outward from there.

The present building, constructed between 1842 and 1845, utilized bricks made in Sandwich Town, and has stood in relatively good condition as both a religious and historic landmark for Windsor until recently. In 2006, a study determined that Assumption Church was in need of major structural repairs — on the the order of $9.8 million.

Last year at this time, Gerald Freed of Ottawa Street’s Freeds announced his financial support, along with the Rafih Auto Group who will be raffling off a car.  The Collavino Group, builders of the WFCU Centre and the new Freedom Tower in New York City announced they will be donating a piece of structural steel from the original World Trade Centre to be placed in a Peace Garden on Assumption’s property.

At today’s media event, fundraisers announced that:

  • $2,906,437 had been raised so far
  • Gerald Freed, on behalf of the Windsor Essex Community Foundation delivered a grant of $175,000 for the construction of a grand front entrance, the largest grant ever given in WECF’s history
  • Robertson Restoration has been hired as the historic masonry contractor and R.J. Steel as the Historic Metal Contractor
  • Two weeks ago crews began working on the exterior masonry of the church’s east wall with a goal of making it water-tight through the winter months to prevent further damage to the Church
  • In the spring of 2012, the full restoration of the east wall (facing the University of Windsor) of Assumption Church will begin
  • Over the summer months a Heating Feasibility Study was conducted by Jason Grossi, Assumptions Architect of Record
  • Over the next few weeks a new electrified hot-water conversion system will be installed in the Church

We’ve followed the story of Assumption Church from its pending closure in January 2008…to the announcement of the formation of the Trust in September 2009…to last fall’s open house.

windsoriteDOTca will continue to follow the multi-year, multimillion dollar restoration project as it proceeds.

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