Historic church chimes a AJC Peachtree

July 4, 2015 - photo frame

Rev. Jim Bell is not one to run in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race.

“No,” pronounced a apportion of song during Peachtree Christian Church, a superb Midtown landmark that greets runners only after channel a overpass over a Connector. “I lay out there and watch y’all suffer.”

Bell, though, nonetheless creates a singular grant to a world’s largest 10-kilometer race. He is caretaker of a building chimes that coax runners on annually on a Fourth of Jul with nationalistic favorites such as “God Bless America” and “America, a Beautiful.”

AJC Peachtree photo

Ken Sugiura / AJC

Through tones beaten on chimes weighing some-more than 500 pounds, “America (My Country ’Tis of Thee)” will cascade adult and down Peachtree Saturday morning, emanating from an instrument dating behind to 1928. The music, as good as a H2O station, hail participants after a walk adult Cardiac Hill, a reknown slip from Peacthree Battle Avenue to Piedmont Hospital.

“It means a lot to me,” pronounced church member Joe Gardner, one of a city’s remarkable architects and a owners of a 37-Peachtree strain that he’ll extend Saturday. “I consider what’s critical also is, since of a plcae – it’s there during a dilemma of Peachtree and Spring opposite from The Temple – a ecumenical suggestion is good and a overdo to a city is good. It’s good to share what we have with those using a competition in a suggestion of support and community.”

The 21-chime instrument, upheld by a wooden shelve station about 15 feet tall, is lodged in a belfry of a church’s turreted building during a intersection of Peachtree and Spring streets. The church itself was determined in 1925, to offer what was afterwards deliberate a city’s northside. The Gothic Revival-style refuge was dedicated in 1928, modeled after Melrose Abbey in Scotland. A clarity of a city’s story pervades a building, that is listed on a National Registry of Historic Places.

Historic church’s purpose in AJC Peachtree photo

The pulpit was a present of a widow of Frank Mason Robinson, who suggested a name and trademark for Coca-Cola. The land for a church was donated by A.G. Rhodes, owner of Rhodes Furniture. The chimes themselves were a present from Rhodes’ children, one of whom was a mother of a church’s first pastor.

Sunlight filters into a refuge by what is claimed to be a largest collection of English stained potion windows outward of England.

Over time, however, a chimes fell into disrepair. Bell believes they went wordless for decades. But they were easy in 1987, a pursuit that enclosed a dismissal of inches-deep seagul droppings in a belfry, a charge lovingly undertaken by members of a church choir.

Said Bell, “It was good to move a aged lady behind to life again.”

The instrument is a marvel, played possibly on a strange keyboards or a actor piano-style resource that connects to a chimes by electric relays. In a belfry, strikers crash a chimes, a largest maybe 12 feet prolonged and about 4 inches in diameter, with such force that a wooden support shakes with any note.

In few places is a phrasing of “from ev’ry mountainside/let leisure ring” felt as forcefully and literally as within arm’s length of a chimes, maybe 100 feet above Peachtree.

The chimes are not played frequently anymore; a church relies on an electronic carillon. But, housed in their building of red section and limestone, they will find their voice again on Saturday, escorting 60,000 Peachtree participants towards Piedmont Park.

Said Gardner, “It’s refreshing.”

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