Crews prepare to lift and move historic church

MADISON, Wis. — Burke Lutheran Church has moved forward with it’s plans to relocate their original sanctuary building just a few hundred yards from its current location by lifting it from it’s foundation.

Construction crews spent Friday preparing the 121 year old building for the delicate transfer. 

“There’s about 20 jacks that lift the whole building,” said NCI-Roberts Construction Carpenter Superintendent Mike Chatfield. “They raise it about 5 feet and put dollies on.”

After securing the building workers will be able to drive the church over to the new location across the lot and attach it to the church’s newly built structure.

Burke Lutheran’s Building Committee Chairman Bruce Brosben said they decided to make the move because the original structure was so outdated.

“The bathrooms were in the basement, there were some parts that could not be accessible to people with disabilities and it’s surrounded by a cemetery so parking was a distance,” he noted.

Given the location of the sanctuary renovations or building additions weren’t feasible particularly because of the cemetery but Brosben knew how much it meant to the community to keep the original structure intact.

“We have a lot of members who have been with us for their whole lives and people were sorry to see it go,” he said.

So the idea that began 28 years ago to move the church was well received by the congregation who unanimously voted to move forward.

“I think that was the answer that suited everybody’s desire,” said Burke Lutheran member Kathy Sandridge.

Many church goers hope that by combining the old with the new they’ll be able to keep the history alive for at least another one hundred years.

The original sanctuary is currently scheduled to be moved Saturday morning.