The Blue Church was built in 1837 and consists of a lower lever fellowship hall; the narthex, nave, and ambo on the main level, with a ‘U’ shaped balcony surrounding the nave on the level above. The Church has been a large part of community’s identity for over 180 years, as it is one of the few pre-civil war buildings remaining in Wheeling.
In 2014, the Wheeling Young Preservationists and Wheeling Heritage partnered to purchase the building and have completed renovations throughout the years, one being a roof replacement including a deck / rafter repair and insulation. The Church needs extensive restoration though, even with the interior being well maintained.
Wheeling is the birthplace of West Virginia and the first State Capitol. Its location makes it an ideal stop for people traveling to and from two larger surrounding cities, Pittsburgh and Columbus. The city of Wheeling and Ohio County have an excellent business climate as well as an advanced workforce. Year-round entertainment, sports, music, festivals, dining, and shopping are some of the amenities that are loved by residents and travelers.
There are countless other economic anchors and developments happening in the area, so this development will continue the momentum already happening.
Being in close proximity to other amenities in the city allow for residents and visitors to experience the blend of historic and modern-day Wheeling. This blend honors the history while continuing to look toward the future. The strong development momentum happening in the city will continue to push Wheeling to be the business, entertainment, and cultural center of Ohio Valley.
The historic elements of the Blue Church are so valuable, the intent with the redevelopment is to keep the core and shell’s structural integrity while transforming what happens on the inside. Our plan is to transform the church to a brewery with a café area on the upper level. It will become a hub of lively activity where there can be live music while conversing with friends or family. It would bring light and life back into a space that is losing its charm. We saw this development as an excellent opportunity to find a new way to revitalize a church while maintaining Wheeling’s valuable architectural history.
Our team pursued Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, New Market Tax Credits, a USDA – backed bank loan, Brownsfield Remediation Credit, the local façade grant program, and the funding sources that were previously approved by Wheeling’s City Council.