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Historic Crystal Lake church is for sale

(Photo provided by McHenry County Historical Society)
Immanuel Lutheran Church celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1920. This photo shows the church's McHenry Avenue sanctuary, which was built in 1895 for $5,000 on four lots purchased for $450, according to a 1974 article from the Crystal Lake Herald. The church has been renovated and remodeled several times.
(Monica Maschak – mmaschak@shawmedia.com)
The Immanuel Lutheran Church on McHenry Avenue, along with two houses, is up for sale with a list price of $1.34 million. The adjacent school, also owned by Immanuel, is being listed separately for $1.52 million.
(Monica Maschak – mmaschak@shawmedia.com)
The Immanuel Lutheran Church on McHenry Avenue, along with two houses, is up for sale with a list price of $1.34 million. The church was built in 1895.

CRYSTAL LAKE – Immanuel Lutheran Church is selling its historic church campus on McHenry Avenue.

A “for sale” sign recently was put up in front of the 9,100-square-foot church at 178 McHenry Ave., though the property was first listed for sale last spring, said Tim Billimack of Blue Chip Commercial Real Estate. The sale price is $1.34 million, but a lease also would be considered.

The property includes the former Immanuel Lutheran Church sanctuary, built in 1895, and two houses on Church Street. An adjacent 38,000-square-foot school, also owned by Immanuel, is listed separately for $1.52 million.

Faith Lutheran High School has leased the school building since 2009. Its lease expires this summer, but it could be renewed, Billimack said.

Several years ago, Immanuel Lutheran built a school campus at 300 Pathway Court with plans to build a larger church for its growing congregation on part of the 60-acre site. At that time, the congregation decided to eventually part with the historic church.

Immanuel Lutheran planned to sell part of its 60-acre property along Main Street to finance construction of a larger church on the Pathway Court campus. But it hasn’t been able to sell the vacant land, said the Rev. Larry Tieman, senior pastor at Immanuel Lutheran.

Efforts to sell it were hampered when a project to relocate the railroad tracks along Main Street stalled and the Great Recession hit.

Immanuel Lutheran now is looking to sell the historic church campus to kick-start its plans to build a bigger church. About 650 parishioners worship each weekend at services held at both the school campus and the historic church.

“We really treasure that building, but recognize that it’s not feasible to support three campuses,” Tieman said.

Immanuel also owns an outreach center, called The Pointe, on Route 14 near Target.

Immanuel Lutheran is looking for another church to lease or buy the historic building, but would consider other offers, as well. Preserving the structure is a priority.

“We would really prefer for the church to remain a church,” Tieman said.

The two houses, which were used for offices and youth ministry programs, could be made available for additional parking, if needed, Billimack said. One house has about 2,200 square feet and the other about 2,800 square feet.

Blue Chip Commercial Real Estate is marketing the property to congregations and other groups throughout the region, Billimack said.

The McHenry Avenue property is in a largely residential area close to the Crystal Lake Area Public Library and Husmann School. City Hall and Crystal Lake’s downtown area also are nearby.


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