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Newly Restored Scottish Rite Cathedral Set For Summer 2020 Debut

Restoration work on the historic Scottish Rite Cathedral in downtown Peoria is chugging along nicely.

Developer Kim Blickenstaff purchased the building at 400 NE Perry last April, and he's already poured more than $5 million into the 95-year-old structure.

"We've been diligently working at life-safety issues, and things that aren't necessarily 100 percent visible to the eye," said KDB Group performing arts director Jenny Parkhurst. "But we've been working on that. And now we're moving into that phase where we're going to see a lot more visible differences in the building and in the structure." 

Workers from Fairfield, Iowa-based Bovard Studio were installing restored stained glass window panels Thursday.

As a base for Peoria-area Freemasons for nearly a century, much of the public has never seen the inside of the 11,000 square foot structure. It's on the National Register of Historic Places. 

"This is a hidden gem that not a lot of the public could have direct access to this building," Parkhurst said. "So we are thrilled to kind of introduce the public to this building for the first time and have a lot of people come in here." 

Parkhurst said the Scottish Rite Cathedral is set to open to the public this summer as a venue for theater, concerts, films, and as a wedding venue.

Finishing up work on a boutique hotel at the old Prospect Mall in Peoria Heights and the Sankoty Lakes Resort and Retreat in Spring Bay are the two other projects Blickenstaff wants to check off his list this year. He's also planning work at the Peoria Armory, former Al Fresco Park, and most recently, the former Koinonia House on Knoxville Avenue. 

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.