Work continues on local historic building

Crews continue renovations on the Fife Opera House

Posted: May 10, 2019 7:25 PM

PALESTINE, Ill. (WTHI) - Joan Fulling learned to love the arts while living in Chicago. But it was love that brought her to Palestine Illinois in the 1950s.

Fulling says, "It was very different from a large city, you know a small town. My world was art and music and then I had to learn to cook! Because I married a farmer."

Fulling found her home in the small town and she found her passion on main street.

Fulling explains, "We actually started working on this in 1991. So we've been working on it a long time to get to this point."

The Fife Opera House had become what fulling calls a closet for the town. Palestine's unwanted storage ended up in the opera houses halls. That is until now.

Palestine Preservation Projects Society president Rodney Bond explains, "We are freshening up the downstairs. A lot of work had been done. Paint and things just with time have to be updated."

The Palestine Preservation Projects Society has been working hard to get the house up and running. Lower levels of the facility are being converted into banquet halls. Upstairs the old stage has been renovated.

While the building is a work in progress it now plays host to a number of local events. Fulling's granddaughter was the first to get married at the facility. Which seems fitting that once again love brought her family to downtown Palestine.

Fulling says, "Well you almost cry when we first used it. Of course, when your granddaughter gets married you cry anyway. To have it actually be restored like this."

The society is funded by donation and grant funding. If you'd like to donate: Click Here.

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