The steeple at Philadelphia’s landmark Christ Church is leaning, and its supporting tower needs serious structural support.

Now, thanks to a $500,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities the church can shore up the structure. Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross were members of Christ Church.

The NEH announced the grant to Christ Church on Thursday. It’s one of 233 projects the endowment will fund across the country.

This Wednesday, March 27, 2019 photo shows Christ Church in Philadelphia. The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $500,000 grant to the historic church to restore its steeple and church tower. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
This Wednesday, March 27, 2019 photo shows Christ Church in Philadelphia. The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $500,000 grant to the historic church to restore its steeple and church tower. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The tower and steeple — financed by a lottery organized by Franklin —made it the tallest building in America until 1856. Legend has it Franklin wanted to use the structure in his lightning experiments.

Founded in 1695, Christ Church was the first parish of the Church of England in Pennsylvania and the birthplace of the U.S. Episcopal Church.

This Wednesday, March 27, 2019 photo shows the exterior of the Christ Church in Philadelphia.  The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $500,000 grant to the historic church to restore its steeple and church tower. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
This Wednesday, March 27, 2019 photo shows the exterior of the Christ Church in Philadelphia. The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $500,000 grant to the historic church to restore its steeple and church tower. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
This Wednesday, March 27, 2019 photo shows the bell carriage room in the tower of Christ Church in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
This Wednesday, March 27, 2019 photo shows the bell carriage room in the tower of Christ Church in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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