MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa- A remodeling project at the First Congregational Church has some people amazed some high technology from over 100 years ago,
When carpenters removed walls in the Youth Room, which is the highest room in the building they found something they did not expect.
The church building had not one, but two giant doors hidden inside walls, which were raised or lowered to accommodate various events at the church. The doors are mounted on huge steel beams with pullies and weights to help raise and lower the giant doors. The doors themselves cannot be seen, still hidden within the walls.
“The church building, and the people are full of surprises it's very historic building there are lots of nooks and crannies,” said Pastor Dan Vellinga. “There's lots of places to play hide and go seek so in a way that didn't surprise me.”
Retired engineer Al Hays of the church is helping oversee the project.
”The steel structure is very massive and there's a beam which goes clear across the center of this room,” said Hays. “The beam is 7" x 2' and is made out of cast-iron, and that's unusual today that would be steel that was cast in a foundry and hauled all the way here probably from Chicago.”
“When I was going here the doors did go up and down in the sanctuary became double almost in size,” said Miriam Bryant, who serves at the church historian. “We used them for extra people who came for our holidays and sometimes they’re was a very large funeral with many prominent people.”
The church is hoping to build a new welcoming youth room, so kids will want to come to this church. The project could be done within a couple of months.
The First Congregational Church is still raising funds needed to complete this project.