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Historic Church At Risk

the Hitchcock Windows
Central Congregational Church
the Hitchcock Windows

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.

Central Congregational Church, on the Square in Galesburg
Credit Central Congregational Church
Central Congregational Church, on the Square in Galesburg

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.

Copyright 2021 WVIK, Quad Cities NPR

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.