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For the week of May 31 through June 6, 2000

Louie’s move appears imminent

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum’s old Congregational Church—most recently known as Louie’s Restaurant— should have a new home sometime this summer.

That’s according to Floyd McCracken, the past president of the Ketchum/Sun Valley Ski and Heritage Museum.

McCracken and Dick Meyer, president of the museum’s historical society, have been heading up efforts to save the aging structure since last fall.

The old church, one of Ketchum’s few remaining structures from the 1880s, was moved to the city’s park & ride lot in November, narrowly saving it from destruction when the lot it sat on was sold.

A proposal for a new commercial building, to be called The Peaks, on the church’s old Leadville Avenue and Sun Valley Road site, is undergoing Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission review.

According to McCracken, ongoing negotiations should lead to successful relocation from the park & ride lot within three months. He wouldn’t disclose where the church may end up, but said it would probably remain in downtown Ketchum.

Estimated restoration cost of the old building is between $60,000 and $80,000, McCracken said, and that includes an approximation for some labor and materials donated by the Building Contractors Association of the Wood River Valley.

"The contractors’ association wants to work with the historical society to help," association president Chris Black said. He didn’t spell out any details.

Thus far, $18,000 in private donations have been raised to preserve the structure, McCracken said.

Once moved and restored, he said, the relic from another era will be available to the public as a community center.


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