As you've probably already heard, the St. Raphael's steeple has been posted on eBay. The church's pride has structural issues and a decision was made to remove while the building and nearby rectory are transformed into affordable housing units.
There was the idea of simply setting it aside, like giant lawn ornament, but the commitee working with developer David Carver didn't warm to the idea. Thus, like so many tchotkes and oddities, the steeple found itself on eBay. Here's the link.
It's a great opportunity for a buying a "once in a lifetime" deal, says the description.
Get ready ... because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are please to offer a real life part of Western New England history ... What a wonderful piece of architectural history to own ... pour a concrete slab and enjoy it for a lifetime.
The minimum bid is $1,000 but with 39 hours to go, no one's bid on it. The auction ends on Aug 22 at 5:55:13 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, or 2:55:13 a.m. our time. The local pickup requirement would certainly lessen the number of (any?) interested buyers - it would be pretty pricey to ship since it weighs in at five to six tons. We found one freight calculator that came up with $3,500 to ship it to 90210 (since we figured someone in that ZIP could easily afford it).
The removal and loading on a flatbed are included, so that's a nice incentive. And where else can you get a church steeple like it? On the other hand, it's just the slate-covered spire and not the more architecturally interesting belfry beneath it.
If a steeple won't fit at your house but you're still looking for some Williamstown history, there's elements of the Kalker House still available at the ReStore in Springfield. The beautiful doorway taken from the home (demolished to make way for the Clark Art Institute's new entrance) can be picked up for $2,000. It's twice the price as the steeple but we're thinking a lot easier to get home.
Update: The auction ended Saturday night with no bids; we haven't seen it relisted.