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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Former church remains on Building Commission’s radar

  • The former First Congregational Church in Hannibal remains a topic of discussion of the city’s Building Commission.
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  • The former First Congregational Church in Hannibal remains a topic of discussion of the city’s Building Commission.
    Concern was expressed in July regarding the stability of a pillar on southwest side of the structure at Sixth and Lyon streets. It was also noted that a tarp was covering a hole in the roof on its south side. Councilman Barry Louderman, a member of the Commission, stated at the time that both issues should be dealt with as soon as possible.
    Two months later, however, the tarp remains atop the roof.
    As for the pillar, Building Inspector Joey Burnham said following Monday’s meeting that he continues to monitor it.
    “I’ve been driving by about every day and it hasn’t moved any more,” said Burnham, who within the last month did a walkthrough of the building with Damon Jaeger of the Hannibal Fire Department.
    Burnham also reported the group that owns the building has consulted with someone who has a background in masonry.
    “He looked at it and said it wasn’t going to fall,” said Burnham. “That’s the first thing they’re going to work on once they get the money.”
    During Monday’s Building Commission meeting Burnham said the group that owns the structure would like to stage a haunted house in it to help raise money for repairs. However, the pillar and hole in the roof must both be fixed before such an event can take place inside it, according to the building inspector.
    Burnham noted that the group which purchased the former church from the Hannibal Community Theatre Group earlier this year has been “spending a lot of time” at the site.
    “I know they’ve done a lot of landscaping,” he said.
    According to information in “History of Marion County 1884,” the First Congregational Church of Hannibal had the structure built in 1870. The building was sold to local Catholics on Oct. 9, 1880. It was formally dedicated the Immaculate Conception Church on April 24, 1881.
    The building continued to be a church until 1954 when it was bought by Emmette J. Shields Post 55. It remained the post’s home until its present building on Highway MM was built.

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