Developer and entrepreneur Kim Blickenstaff, whose slew of projects in Peoria Heights has taken the community by storm, recently expanded his acquisitions into Peoria proper. His purchase of the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 400 NE Perry in downtown Peoria, promises to rescue the architecturally significant landmark from falling into disrepair.
Constructed in 1925, the beautiful, church-like facility—with its stunning stained-glass windows, flying buttresses, terrazzo flooring, massive pipe organ and green gargoyles overlooking the city—is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located at the foot of OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center next to the new Ronald McDonald House (currently under construction), it offers over 10,000 square feet of usable space, theater seating for 900, and a full basement kitchen and banquet facility.
The Scottish Rite fraternal organization—which has occupied the building for nearly a century—will continue to be welcome in the space. “I told them they can use it forever,” says Blickenstaff, who is placing the property in a trust. “It’s going to be preserved for the community.” He also purchased many of the building’s contents, which he intends to display as part of a “living museum.” The space will remain available for weddings, concerts and other special events, complementing Blickenstaff’s long-term vision for a future downtown theater district. PM