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National Historic Registry designation sought for former United Brethren Church in Toledo

January 4, 2017
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Members of the Tama County Historical Preservation Commission will act on a request to endorse the nomination of the United Brethren Church (Otterbein Methodist Church) in Toledo to the National Register of Historic Places at their regular meeting Thursday, Jan. 5.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the Tama Civic Center, 305 Siegel.

The application is being made by Hobart Historic Restoration, Cedar Rapids, which purchased the church at 201 East High Street. The firm specializes in reuse of existing buildings.

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The former United Brethren and later, Otterbein United Methodist Church, at 201 East High in Toledo. New owners of the property are seeking to gain National Historic Registry designation for the building.

Chronicle photos/John Speer

Owners Jim and B.J. Hobart have announced plans to create up to 15 apartments in the building. During a Tama County Economic Development Pitch and Build event. Jim Hobart stressed their "repurposing" of properties concentrates on "salvaging everything we can." Hobart said the Otterbein Church building is "well built of bricks and block" construction.

Hobart said the firm relies "upon state and federal as well as local government programs to aid in their work."

The entire, 45-page application for Historic Registry accompanies this article on the Chronicle website- or may be examined at the Toledo Public library of Tama County Auditor's Office.

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The church was built in 1946 following a fire in 1943 which destroyed an 1886 church building on the site. The orignal church was a mainstay of Leander Clark College, a United Brethren College, according to church history. The college merged with Coe college, cedar rapids, in 1919, but the church continued in operation until merging with the First United Methodist Church in Toledo in 1993, forming Christ United Methodist Church.

In August, 2015, all church operations were consolidated into the church on South Broadway and the High Street church and educational center addition sold.



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