Rich Egger's guest is Tim Schroll of the Moses King Brick & Tile Works National Historic District near Colchester.
Schroll said that after years of searching for an engineering firm, they've found one willing to tackle the process of rehabilitating the Brickyard's beehive kilns.
“In fact, they're so excited about it that they've assigned a grant worker to our case to try to raise the funds for the structural analysis, which is the first step in the process of getting the kilns rebuilt,” said Schroll.
The Brickyard once housed seven kilns. Four are still standing. One of them is structurally secure while Schroll said the other three remaining kilns are in various states of decay.
“The whole dream of ours ... is to restore the two oldest kilns, which were built in 1893, back to their original look. We're not going to cook bricks but we want them to look as they functioned back then,” Schroll said.
“(For) the other two remaining kilns we would like to use what they call an adaptive re-use. The exteriors will look the same but on the inside we want to modernize them so they'll be places for art work or for meetings, conventions, retreats, small gatherings, music, plays, and things like that to encourage the arts.”
He acknowledged it will be expensive to rebuild the kilns. He hopes the grant writers will be able to secure quite a bit of federal money.
In addition, the Brickyard is holding its 2nd Summer Raffle to help offset the day-to-day costs of the operation. 21 tickets will be drawn on Friday, September 7, 6:00 pm, at the West Central Illinois Arts Center on Macomb's Courthouse Square. Proceeds will benefit the Brickyard.
Raffle tickets can be purchased at various locations and through supporters of the Brickyard.
More information about the Moses King Brick & Tile Works National Historic District can be found on its website and Facebook page.