Friday, August 11, 2006

Sale of Louie?s finalized

$1 sale price, plus $10,000 donation, close deal for church

Express Staff Writer

The historic church known as ?Louie?s? currently sits on a city lot in Ketchum?s light-industrial district. The sale of the building, which has been without a permanent site for some seven years, was finalized this week. Photo by Willy Cook

The restoration of Ketchum's historic First Congregational Church could be on the fast track following its sale to a new owner.

The Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society sold the building, commonly referred to as "Louie's" for a pizza place that once occupied the structure, to Old Mill Development LLC for $1, said President Betty Murphy, who signed the papers Wednesday.

The buyer made a $10,000 donation to the historical society. That money will be put toward other projects and displays in the Ski & Heritage Museum in Ketchum, such as mining, cross-country skiing and the annual Trailing of the Sheep celebration. It will also be used to fix the interior of the Bonning Cabin near City Hall, which is the oldest house in Ketchum, Murphy said.

Restoration work will soon begin on the 1883 church. The building will likely later be moved to its planned permanent home on the corner of East Avenue and Sixth Street.

The historical society has been working for seven years to try to find a home for the historic building.

"I can't tell you how happy I am of reaching our goal of restoring and finding a home for it," Murphy said. "We persevered."

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