Melissa McGrew balanced herself high above the floor of Old North Church, perched at the edge of slightly rocking scaffolding as she burrowed through paper-thin layers of paint and plaster to find the church’s original skin. A good day is uncovering 7 square inches. It’s nerve-racking work for the conservator, a baby step toward an estimated $8 million renovation that will bring the building up to code. Along the way, the interior will get a radical cosmetic makeover in time for the church’s tricentennial in 2023 and, two years later, the 250th anniversary of Paul Revere’s famous ride.
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