WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Historic Church At Risk

Mar 15, 2021
Originally published on March 15, 2021 8:50 am

A historic landmark in Galesburg desperately needs our help. The 123 year old Central Congregational Church, on the Square downtown, is trying to raise money to repair its stained glass windows.

Church Moderator Ann Ehler says their focus is the Hitchcock Windows - 1,000 square feet of stained glass visible from the Square. Fund raising began two years ago to replace the structural supports.

"And then three weeks ago, one of the pieces of the exterior glass cracked and fell inward toward the stained glass. So suddenly our timeline went from eventual to immediate."

If they can raise 90,000 dollars, they'll be able to stabilize the Hitchcock Windows, replacing the old wooden frames and supports with metal.

"Right now they will twist and sway so that the windows actually are cracking themselves. they stopped counting at 1,000 pieces of broken glass. So we want that to stop."

Ehler says once the windows are stabilized, then the church might be able to start raising money to repair them.

Central Congregational Church in Galesburg was built in 1898, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and listed as one of Illinois's most endangered historic places in 2018.

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