The chimes that ring from the pink bell tower above St. Teresa of Avila have been calling the Catholic faithful to the Silver Lake church for decades. Now that same tower will soon play a role in a different kind of communication — cell phone calls. When the construction scaffolding comes down, two transmitters embedded above the bells but below the cross will turn the spire into a giant, Spanish-Colonial Revival style cell phone antenna. Churches across the country are cashing in on their steeples, says cell phone tower expert Steel in the Sky, which helps churches and other property owners negotiate leases with cell phone carriers.
P.S.: The owner of Steel in the Sky, Ken Schmidt, estimates that 200 church steeples nationwide have been converted to cell phone towers. Churches can collect between $750 to $2,500 a month from the cell phone company.