PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Local philanthropist and KDB Group Chairman Kim Blickenstaff is closing in on his latest restoration project.
His newest endeavor is restoring the historic Hale Church located at Main and High Street in Peoria’s West Bluff. The church was built in 1890 and fell into disrepair some time ago.
Blickenstaff said when he learned the church was going to be torn down, he knew he had to step in.
“When I saw the word ‘demolish’ in an article about this about two to three weeks ago, I reacted badly. I don’t think it should be demolished. Obviously, there’s a lot to do, a lot to be done, but we’re well aware of the condition of it,” he said.
A couple from Utah was also interested and purchased the church sight unseen at auction for $22,000. However, Blickenstaff said they pulled out after seeing the church and how much work needed to be done. He reimbursed the couple and expects to close the deal in July.
“I think its an important part of stitching back the great fabric that was Peoria. We don’t need another parking lot, as I like to say. I think this will be a very motivational place for people,” Blickenstaff said.
KDB Group recently restored the Scottish Rite Theatre to its former glory, and Blickenstaff said he is excited to do it again with the Hale Church.