Falls City's Historic UMC

The Restoration of The Church

Built by local volunteers in 1892, the "Carpenter Gothic" wooden structure with bell tower and colored glass windows, had fallen into disrepair and was threatened with demolition in the 1990's.

Through the efforts of local families, the vision of Larry Abell, AIA, a Portland architect, and through the work of local Polk Country architectural historians, the church was saved and restored to its original character at an approximate cost of $100,000.

Restoration work began in 1992 and continued through 2008. Funds for restoration have come from major donations by several outstanding individuals, from grants offered by the United Methodist Church and from the State historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

Stages Of Restoration

There were 3 main goals to the restoration:
1. To bring the church up to legal standards (building codes), and to prevent further deterioration.
2. To restore the church to its former quality, preserving its historic integrity.
3. To improve the church and enlarge it so that it can continue to serve the needs of a growing constituency and community.

The first Stage of the restoration consisted of redoing the foundation and leveling the building

In Order to accomplish this, the entire building had to be lifted off of the existing foundation, braced, leveled, and then releveled on the new foundation

Once this was done, the exterior paint had to be stripped completely in order for the building to be repainted

Skirting was replaced with siding of original type, rotted moldings, facer boards, trim and sills were removed and replaced. Several cracked and broken windows were replaced as well.

Next came the repairs to the historic belltower of the church

The belltower had to be repainted, recapped, straightened and secured.

After the belltower was finished, it was time to reroof the main structure. All of the old roofing was carefully removed from the building

The new roof was installed using modern materials while still preserving the historic structure itself. A roof "cricket" was created to propel rainwater away from the juncture of the tower and the roof. And a gutter and downspout system was added to shed rain water and propel it away from the structure and the foundation.

After the roof was done, the old wooden (rotted) walkway was torn out, and replaced with a new cement handicapped-accessible walkway and stairs. Additionally, the rear parking area was properly marked, graveled and graded.

Once the exterior was finished, renovation moved inside, to the ceiling and walls in the rectory and meeting rooms

The old ceiling material was removed, and old wallcovering taken down and replaced with newer sturdier materials. Rewiring of the structure was also done at this time

The flooring took a great deal of time and work to repair and rehabilitate

Volunteers stripped and buffed and sanded and revarnished the original flooring until it was good-as-new!

Finally, it was time to start work on the new addition to the rear of the church, to expand the kitchen and rear entryway, and add handicapped accessible restrooms.

A new foundation for the addition was laid, the walls were raised, and it was rapidly brought together to work with the existing structure

A new wooden stairway and railing was added as well, and a side-entrance to allow direct entry to the field next to the church. The kitchen was replumbed and rewired, and modern appliances were added.

Currently, the majority of the restoration is finished. The exterior is done, and the building is up to code - all thanks to the contributions and volunteering of many good local folks and members

There does still remain a need for continuing donations to help the restoration however - there are many little things remaining to be done, and a need for continual upkeep and maintenance. If you should wish to donate to help the continuing work of the restoration, contributions can made to FC UMC Restoration and mailed to P.O. Box 473 Falls City, OR 97344 or you can click here to make a donation online directly via paypal.


Location: at the corner of N. Main St. and 1st Ave. in beautiful downtown Falls City oregon

Time For Services: 10:00am on Sunday

Our church is open to all, and we welcome both residents and visitors alike. Please come visit our historic church and share in our worship and fellowship!

Pastor: Steve Mitchell
Phone: (541)539-0366
Email: pastor@fallscityumc.org
Mail: P.O. Box 473
          Falls City, OR 97344