Welcome To "The Community"
Lexington, Virginia


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The New Clock Tower & Steeple Went Up on 3/5/02!
Get the story with pictures from WREL Here.

" Church Fire Ruled Accidental By The State Police "
The Virginia State Police have ruled that the recent fire, at the Lexington Presbyterian Church, was accidental in nature. The state police say the July 18 fire was the result of the heating of wood while workers were scraping paint at the church. Lexington fire officials place the damage figure, from the fire, at roughly 2 and a half million dollars. Meanwhile, the Historic Lexington Foundation will be holding a special workshop, in a few weeks , with the focus on fire prevention in historic buildings. The workshop will be held August 19 at the Rockbridge Regional Library and will feature Dan McDaniel, Colonial Williamsburg's Director of Security, Safety and Transportation, as the main speaker.   (WREL)

Lexington Presbyterian Church To Be Restored!
                         Web Feat Exclusive 7/20/00                           

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Web Feat has learned from reliable sources that the Church Session has decided to have the 150 year old Lexington house of worship and architectural landmark restored to as close to its former condition as possible.  The cleanup has already begun. State fire investigators were on the scene on Wednesday to try to determine the cause of the blaze which devastated the structure that dominates Main Street as it crosses Nelson Street in the heart of Lexington's historic downtown.
Web Feat started publishing a story and photos of the fire on this site on Tuesday (7/18/00) within a half hour of the discovery of the blaze.  This page will continue to be posted so that the restoration progress can be followed over the coming months.  Look for a link on this page.

" H-L-F Offers Its Expertise On Rebuilding Effort "
The Historic Lexington Foundation has decided to offer its expertise to the governing board of the Lexington Presbyterian Church when it comes to the rebuilding process. Pam Simpson with H-L-F says the church was not just an historical landmark locally but had national significance as well. She says the church was designed by Thomas Walters, in the 1840's, in the Greek revival style. Simpson says Walters was also the man responsible for designing the U.S Capitol building. Simpson also says H-L-F is hoping to hold a workshop, in the fall, dealing with the issue of fire prevention in historical structures. Lexington Fire Chief Robert Foresman says the lack of a sprinkler system, in the church, certainly impaired their efforts to battle Tuesday's fire. He says he's also concerned about the absence of sprinkler systems in other buildings in the downtown Lexington area.   WREL Exclusive  7/21/00
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" Sunday Service Will Be Held At The Church Annex "
The pastor of the Lexington Presbyterian Church says his congregation will be holding its Sunday worship service , in the church annex, near the burned out sanctuary this weekend. William Klein says the Sunday service will be held at 11 a.m. in the Dunlap Auditorium of Murray Hall. Klein says the church has recieved a lot of support from other churches in the area and he's hoping to set up a community-wide service next week. WREL Exclusive 7/21/00                                                 

Web Feat Exclusive!:     Lexington Presbyterian Church Destroyed By Fire!
                                                         July 18, 2000                                          

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The Lexington Presbyterian Church, located on the corner of  Nelson & Main Streets, caught fire at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning and was completely destroyed in the blaze which lasted for most of the day. All local fire departments answered the call.  At first, billows of thick smoke engulfed the steeple and appeared to be seeping from the eaves on an addition on the church's Nelson Street Side.   No smoke or flames could be seen coming from the church's main level.  Photos appearing in the first row below were taken at about 10:00 A.M. this morning.      

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10:00 AM
Thick smoke
emanating from
the steeple and
eaves but no sign
of smoke or fire
on the main floor.


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The bottom row of photos above represent the scene approximately one hour after the upper row of images were taken.  As you can see, the situation got worse within that hour and it is reported that Augusta County firefighters were called in to assist the Rockbridge crews which included those from Buena Vista and Lexington.  Authorities were concerned about the possible collapse of the upper portion of the church's steeple and  marked off an area within 1/2 block of the scene to prevent onlookers from getting very close.  They also tried desperately to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring structures and apparently succeeded.   As the third picture above shows, at one point the lower portion of Main Street was engulfed with smoke.  

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By Noon the fire spread to the main floor.   Flames flew out of the  windows & steeple.
At 12:30 P.M. the steeple came down on the south side of the church.
To the firefighters' credit,
no one was injured and no other buildings damaged.
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                                                                                  click here for                                                                                                                                                                                                          WREL's Coverage