For the last couple of years, the bells at Denver’s “mother Church,” the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, have been silent. Since May, the Archdiocese of Denver has been working toward the restorations necessary to get them ringing again.
Last week, general contractor, Haselden Construction, LLC—in coordination with The Verdin Company, a family-owned business out of Cincinnati, Ohio and specialist in bells since 1842—began restoring the bells’ original 1911 wooden structure that has deteriorated with age. It will be replaced with new steel supports. This week, a crane will lift the steel components into the 210-foot east bell spire to be assembled inside the tower.
Each of the 15 bells in the spire, required to be taken from its frame during the project, as shown in the Nov. 8 photo, has its own name and is cast with an associated poem or prayer. The project will also include the addition of a Carillon Master Control system allowing the bells to be controlled remotely by a keyboard. Work is expected to be completed within the next two weeks, hopefully before Thanksgiving, according to parish administrator Mary Ellen Lederman.