PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — An abandoned church in Peoria’s West Bluff may soon be demolished.

On June 29, KDB Group, a property management company that specializes in preserving historic buildings, will ask the Peoria Historical Preservation Commission to demolish Hale Memorial Church, citing it as “a dangerous and unsafe building.”

KDB Group purchased Hale Church in 2021 with hopes of restoring the church to its former glory. The church, originally built in 1900, was badly damaged by two fires and had been in disrepair for years.

“We were trying to figure out different means, and we just came to the conclusion about three months ago that it just wasn’t gaining any more traction, as far as trying to save the building,” said Greg Birkland, President and CEO of KDB Group.

Birkland said the roof had a large opening, which exposed the church’s interior to the elements. The condition of the roof was so bad that no roofing company would go near it.

“We had several roofing contractors come out and none of them would actually get on the roof because the integrity of the trusses themselves, they were extremely spongy make, wouldn’t really support additional weight. How do we move forward if we can’t even get a roofing company out here to put a roof line?” said Birkland.

Birkland said they tried hard to save the church, but the structure is too far gone.

“We’ve tried putting it up as much as we can, especially boarding up all the windows from the inside. We’ve already got brick walls that have already fallen in and to the inside of the building, so unfortunately, it’s deteriorating from the inside out,” said Birkland.

Birkland said the group’s focus has shifted to saving as many parts of the church as possible. Fifteen large stained-glass windows were removed last year for preservation at Heritage Restoration in Peoria.

“It was always an iconic building there…It’s really hard for us to have to let it go,” he said.

Once the building is razed, Birkland said the group will transform the property into a community space.

“We will try to put something in its place, like a small green area that might have some of the stone and pay homage to Hale Church itself, beautify it to where it’s a beautiful entrance into that historic district… I think it would be a great gesture for the community,” he said.