EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan — The historic New York Liberty Bell survived a massive fire that gutted an East Village church earlier this month, Department of Buildings officials confirmed Saturday.
That fate of the bell that rang out in celebration of the country’s independence in 1776 had been unknown since the multi-alarm fire ripped through Middle Collegiate Church on Dec. 5.
As work continues to stabilize @middlechurch, our engineers have found that the church’s historic “New York Liberty Bell” was not damaged during last week’s devastating fire.— NYC Buildings (@NYC_Buildings) December 12, 2020
DOB engineers remain on site to monitor & assess the stability of the structure. pic.twitter.com/v5BPwuIUGl
Engineers working to stabilize the Second Avenue church, built in 1892, found that the bell was not damaged by the fire, according to the DOB.
The church is part of the Lower East Side Historic District. The Middle Collegiate congregation itself dates to the settlement of the city in the 1620s.
While the church has a long history, its message is contemporary, progressive and inclusive. Middle Collegiate supports social causes like the Black Lives Matter movement and welcomes all religions, races and sexual orientations.
The church has set up a webpage for donations to help rebuild following the devastating fire.
“We are devastated and crushed that our beloved, historic sanctuary at Middle Collegiate Church has burned, compromising our entire physical plant. And yet no fire can stop Revolutionary Love,” the church says in a statement on its donation page. “In fact, our two sanctuary signs—Just Love and Black Lives Matter—remain firmly attached to our scorched stone facade. A raging fire can’t destroy our values; and even as we grieve, we have faith that out of the ashes, something powerful is rising.”