Built in 1896 the Valley Chapel functioned as a church and community center for 77 years before being sold to the Scott Larson family. It has had many major renovations over the years and continues to be a gathering place for the community.
We want all our donors to know how much we apprecaite the help. Along with swag, we’re throwing a big party as a thank you! Mark your calendar for the Valley Chapel Restoration Project Gala.
Do you have a specific project you’d like to help out with? We love that! Below we’ve identified what we believe are most in need of repairs/updates. If there are another areas of the building that hold special meaning to you that you’d like to see updated, please let us know!
Over time, the mortar in exterior brick wall joints weathers and breaks down leaving unsightly recesses and even holes. Insects will enter through these holes to nest and lay eggs. Water also works it's way into these damaged joints further accelerating the break down with freezing and thawing. The brickwork on the Hearthside is now nearly 90 years old with signs of extensive breakdown in the mortared joints. This is a preservation project on the top of our list. It would include the repair to 2 chimneys with lose and missing bricks.
We are ready to begin major renovations in the chapel. New flooring is one of the planned renovations. Actually, 'new' is a bit of a misnomer. The plan is to restore most of the original pre-1959 hardwood flooring. We believe this wood flooring is over 100 years old and is in wonderful condition. We have now removed the carpeting (installed in 1959) and are in the process of removing nails, staples, wax, old VCT tiles and tar under-lament. The wood floor needs to be sanded and refinished (stained). This includes new flooring in the bell tower and adjacent cloak rooms.
In 1959 the original bead board wainscot was covered with a light oak paneling. We are removing the paneling and restoring the original bead board wainscot and chair rail. This project entails either stripping the many coats of paint off the bead board surface or removing, flipping and re-installing the clean backside facing out into the room. Still deciding which method to pursue. Very excited about the authentic look this will bring back to the room.
The current light fixtures in the chapel are nearly 90 years old. Time to update! We are looking to replace these fixtures with something more representative of the late 1800's early 1900's. Again, the over all goal for the chapel is to move it's appearance back to the original look (1896). Their are six fixtures in the chapel and 3 fixtures in the three rooms off the south end of the chapel. These rooms being the bell tower and the two cloak rooms on either side. The cost of light fixtures can range into many hundred's of dollars per individual fixture.
In 1959 the ceiling in the chapel was lowered by way of a dropped tile ceiling. This ceiling is 16' high. It hides the original vaulted ceiling which was roughly 25' high in the center. The original vaunted ceiling was beautifully unique like the current ceiling in the building's west side room (historically known as the Cultural Hall). Our desire is to remove the dropped ceiling and restore the original vaulted ceiling. This is the mother project in the chapel! It will require the removal of the asbestos acoustic tile, the suspension framework, insulation and entail extensive repairs to the historic pioneer ceiling. It will also require a new plastering, painting, crown molding, new lighting configuration and new insulation. It will be a messy project! Unfortunately, right now this project sits at the bottom of our wish list. It will be expensive and will close off the use of the room for several weeks.
The original chapel windows, now 121 years old are beautiful and irreplaceable. There are a total of 13 windows - 7 between the east and west sides of the chapel, one window on each cloak room, 2 second story windows on the bell tower and 2 chapel interior south end windows. The latter windows referenced actually are closed-up window openings who's windows were removed at the time of the 1913 renovation when the cloak rooms were added to either side of the bell tower. Since these window openings are large and dramatic (40"w x 12' h) and occupy a prominent location in the rostrum end of the chapel, it's our desire to install custom stain glass in the empty window frames. This will really beautify the room. The other objective for the remaining 11 windows is to re-glaze and re-paint the exterior sides of the windows.
There is a set of double wide doors on the south (rostrum) end of the chapel that open up into the base of the bell tower. The original doors that occupied this location were much like the existing exterior doors that open up to the outside of the bell tower with a striking arched top and arched stain glass panel insert. In 1959 this door opening was sized down, and the arched window removed. We would like to demo out the existing doors, reopen the original door opening, re-install larger doors along with the original arched stain glass window, still safely stored on the premises. Since, without tearing the wall open, not able to determine how much of the original door casings and trim, if any, might be intact behind the closed in walls, our estimate for this project is unfortunately imprecise.
All three sets of exterior doors are in need of refurbishing, by way of complete new door change outs or extensive renovation of the existing door frames, trims, doors and hardware. Our preference is to pursue the latter. We would also like to re-install glass window panels in the center entrance and cultural hall doors to reflect the original construction and look of the doors. These door renovations could cost between $2 and $5000 a piece depending on the approach - restoration of old doors or new door installs.
For the last 45 years the old Valley Chapel has shared the building name - Hearthside. The Larkin family who purchased the building from the LDS church in 1974 placed this new name in service. The current owners, who kept the name, have frequently felt over the years that there was nothing in the nature of the facility that necessarily supported the name. It seemed that somewhere in the building there ought to be an impressive fireplace and hearth that gave credibility to the name Hearthside. Eventually a vision unfolded and the seeds of a future project were planted and another item found it's way to the wish list. By consensus it was agreed that centered on the east wall of the cultural hall between the window on the right and the doors on the left would be the perfect location for the kind of fireplace (gas) with an over sized fire box and elevated hearth worthy of the name Hearthside. This project does not reflect any historically accurate attribute, but.....would be a note worthy addition to an already awesome room! This would also function as a supplementary or back up heat source to the room.
Valley Kid Collective