Playhouse and Music Theatre

Work on the pulpit is complete. It is magnificent and is definitely the signature item that puts the exclamation point on this restoration! Everyone must see this to appreciate it. In the meantime you can look at the photos on our web site at Frank Stoik, who was the contractor on the pulpit, is an expert on historical construction. He and his crew are to be commended for their outstanding work and for the care and historical sensitivity that they exhibited during this project. We were extremely fortunate that Frank agreed to rebuild the pulpit. We do not have any photos of the Elias Church pulpit but we do have written descriptions of it. We used these written descriptions plus examinations of existing pulpits that are still in existence at other Union churches of the same era. We are very confident that the restoration is very close to the original that once stood in the very same location. The Elias Church is restored but we still have no heat or electricity. The electricity issue is being addressed and that work will be done by December 5. The heat will have to wait until the Elias garage is restored. That out building will house restrooms, offices, storage and utilities for the church. The utilities will be fed underground to the church. We are making progress on raising funds for this phase of the project. We believe that we could begin in the fall of 2011 on the Elias garage. There is still landscaping to be done. That will probably have to wait until next spring. The Elias church is on the Holiday house tour on December 5. The church will be beautifully decorated for the Christmas season and will be available for tour goers to walk through. We are still in need of donations. Specifically, $15,000 we owe to pay for the construction of the pulpit. Please help if you can!

Work on the pulpit has begun. Frank Stroik, who restored the Gutelius House, is doing the work. He is an expert on preservation and restoration construction and does outstanding work. The pulpit should be installed and ready for paint in a week or two. In 1885 a Reformed minister wrote this very interesting description of the pulpit. This was written in a Reformed document called the “Messenger.” “The pulpit of this church was on the south side, of wine glass shape, high up against the wall.” We have physical evidence, historical photos and access to similar pulpits still in existence that allow us to restore the pulpit to its original design. We still have some landscaping to do. We have to rake and seed the lawn. Hopefully that will be done in September.

The sidewalks and parking area are now complete. The parking is on the west side of the Elias Church and it consists of two handicapped spaces. We still have to rake the ground so that grass can be planted. We moved nineteen pews back in the church. We will clean them off, put them in place and screw them to the floor. Some minor repairs may be needed. Now we will work on getting the approval to actually use the building.

The weather is finally warming and the site work to finish up the landscaping will begin shortly. We will be installing the lawn, sidewalks and plantings. Planning is also underway to rebuild the small garage east of the church. This building will house restrooms, storage and office space. The basement of this building will contain all the systems for the Elias Church, i.e. heating, electrical, etc. The utilities will be run underground to the church.