Come to the Blue Church This, ‘First Friday’

There may be a body buried under the front steps.”

If that true statement does not pique your interest (or morbid curiosity) and make you want to come see “the Blue Church” in East Wheeling, then perhaps an evening of free live music will!

Wheeling Heritage (WNHAC) and The Wheeling Young Preservationists (WYP) invite you to join us on Friday, Feb. 6, for “Raise the Roof,” a free fundraiser concert featuring Ezra Hamilton, Haley Slagle, and Michael Iafrate. Come hear some amazing local talent and learn more about the plans to give this beautiful 177-year-old church a new lease on life.

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We are working on converting this historic church (the second oldest church left in Wheeling) into a performing arts venue with a recording studio in the basement. The concert on Feb. 6 will showcase how we envision the space will be used and will hopefully make even more people fall in love with this grand old church.

As for the rehabilitation work, our first order of business is to put a new roof on the church, and we need your help to do that. We want to apply for a State Historic Preservation Development Grant in March to replace the roof and box gutters and to begin some more exterior work to make the building airtight; however, we have to provide equivalent funds for the grant amount requested.

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Here are some simple steps that you can take to help us raise the funding to put a new roof on the church.

Step 1. Come to the concert on Feb. 6. Bring a friend or two or 10. Make sure to RSVP and reserve your seats by calling 304-232-3087.

Step 2. Tell everyone you know about one of Wheeling’s coolest projects.

Step 3. Gather together the change from your couch cushions and car and make a donation to this project.

Or if you would like to make more substantial donations by using checks, credit cards, or Paypal, they are always welcome! Checks can be made out to Wheeling National Heritage Area Foundation (write “Blue Church” in the memo line). Mail your donations to: WNHAF, P.O. Box 350, Wheeling, WV 26003.

Credit card and Paypal donations can be made on Wheeling Heritage’s website at wheelingheritage.org/milestones/bluechurch/

Step 4. “Like” Wheeling Heritage and The Wheeling Young Preservationists on Facebook to get more regular updates about the church and learn about other ways to get involved. Workdays at the church will be starting soon, and volunteers are always welcome.

We hope that you are able to join us on Feb. 6 for what is guaranteed to be a good time for all. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. If you are taking part in other First Friday activities, simply hop on the trolley and come on up to the corner of 12th and Byron streets.

Come for the music. Come for preservation. Come for community.

Or if none of those things are incentive enough, come for that dead body.

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