From the Community Presbyterian Church to the Historical Societies' LolliPop Lane

Click on any of the pictures below for a larger view.

How it all Began:

The 105-year-old Community Presbyterian Church adjoining the Wheeling Village Hall was spared the bulldozer once again this week, as members of the town's historical society worked frantically against a deadline to get the building moved. The church, which is the third oldest building in Wheeling and at one time served as a community church used by all religious denominations in the village, will be moved early next week to the Chamber of Commerce Park land adjoining the community pool.

The land, in the process of being sold to the park district for $15,000 by the Chamber of Commerce, is officially still owned by the Chamber, but the final agreement should be signed within a few days. Owners of the property the church now occupies bad given the historical society an ultimatum that if the building were not moved by today, the bulldozers would strike on Monday. DUNKIN' DONUTS, tenant of the shop which will later occupy the land, was donated $500 toward moving the church and community organizations and other merchants have also contributed to preserve the old landmark. Ron Ignatius, a historical society member who has been coordinating efforts to get the church moved, said Thursday that the owners of the property have given a reprieve on the moving date because their contractor has not been able to tear down an addition as planned. The addition, which can't be moved along with the original building, was keeping the movers from shoring up the building to haul it to the park land on Wolf Road.

The village board Monday gave the go ahead on moving the church, provided all ordinances of the village are observed. According to Ignatius, public service companies are surveying the utility lines and the phone company is working to dis- connect wires so the building will be ready for the move. The process of moving the building should take about three days once it has begun, he said

Donations to help pay for moving of the Community Presbyterian Church in Wheeling are still being sought by the Historical Society. Funds totaling $3,500 are needed to move the 105-year-old building, third oldest in the village, to a site at Chamber of Commerce Park. Negotiations for the purchase of the park over a five-year period were completed this week between the Chamber of Commerce and the Wheeling Park District. A $3,000 PAYMENT for the first year was delivered to the Chamber of Commerce from the park district. Chamber Pres. Eugene Sackett says the money will go to instigate the chamber's new 10-point program for improving the village. With other details cleared for the moving of the building, funds for its restoration are also needed, Koeppen said.
Although a loan to. pay for remodeling of the 105-year-old Community Presbyterian . Church building still hangs hi limbo, the Wheeling Park District Board nevertheless has already started thinking about what it will use the church for after the remodeling Is complete. : "Either we can use It as a recreation center or we can restore it to the church concept," said Gene Sackett, park commissioner. Sackett said he thought it be more economical to merely restore the church building "to the church concept."
The church was moved from its original Site on Dundee Road to Chamber of Commerce Park last summer through efforts of the Wheeling Historical Society and the park district. SACKETT SAID the Rev. George Ekstrom o£ the Community Presbyterian Church of Wheeling, had offered to donate the building's former altar for use in the restored church. • Lorraine Lark, park district president, 'at the district's meeting Thursday, said she thought the church should be functional. She suggested that the exterior be restored to look like the original church, but that the interior should remain flexible. "I'd hate to see it become a church because it couldn't be used to it's ultimate," she said, explaining that a folding door over the altar area or even a portable altar would allow the building to be used for lectures, club meetings, or a teen center. "We don't want a shrine, we want it available to anybody for any purpose," she said. The board directed William Blank, treasurer and Supt. Ferd Amdt to look into the possibility of a loan for the remodeling. The board earlier had instructed Atty. Roger Bjorvik to inquire about the loan, but received no report on the attorney's progress Thursday.

PLEASE, if you have any photographs or movies of the Community Church and its move to Chamber Park, please let us know. We would love to post some photos of this event.


Wheeling Historical Society and Museum