A work crew began taking apart the International Friendship Bell House located in Alvin K. Bissell Park on Monday.
A structural evaluation of the bell house earlier this year determined that most of the structure holding the 8,000-pound bell was beyond repair due to water damage to the support beams. The report recommended closing the International Friendship Bell House due to public safety concerns.
The city of Oak Ridge is now working with a number of interested citizens and the Recreation and Parks Board on a campaign to replace the structure with a new permanent building, Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said in a recent press release.
Once the dismantling of bell house is complete, the Friendship Bell will be lowered to the ground. The bell will once again be accessible to the public for viewing purposes but not for ringing until the bell house reconstruction is complete. [Read more…]