New York Liberty Bell heads to historical society as Manhattan church damaged in fire rebuilds


EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan — New York’s Liberty Bell will be transported Wednesday from the belfry of the historic Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan.

A five-alarm fire tore through the church in December 2020, severely damaging the Second Avenue building, but the bell miraculously was not damaged by the smoke and flames.

Now the bell, which rang in 1776 in celebration of the nation’s independence from British rule, will shine as a symbol of resilience as part of a new exhibit at the New-York Historical Society.

Built in 1892, the church is part of the Lower East Side Historic District. The congregation itself dates to the settlement of the city in the 1620s.

The current congregation, meanwhile, has been focused on rebuilding. They held a fundraising benefit in March and are still accepting donations through their website.

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