The Historic Building Preservation Project took shape over the past two years as the Fellowship congregation embarked on an adventure, working with Gronen Restoration, Heritage Works, Jeff Morton Architects on a 3-phase project that includes: replication of the belfry, restoration of the exterior, renovation of the interior. The total cost of the project is $1.5 million.

This adventure helped the Board and others recognize the significance of doing something transformative with our church home – more than just take care of our building. We realized that, with the help of the challenge match offer and state grants and donations, we can make a huge impact on our neighborhood and larger Dubuque community.

As we have taken steps over the timeline of the project – steps we may not have taken, if not for the project – we moved from focusing just on strengthening our bricks & mortar home to also strengthening our Fellowship community – strengthening our neighborhood and our city communities.

Congregational Input Timeline

We want to hear from you with questions, ideas, concerns, and suggestions to refine the vision and the function of our physical church home and to shape it as a “shining gem” for our congregation, our neighborhood, and our community.  Please send emails or make phone calls to any of the Board members.

  • 2019: Listening groups held to gather input from congregation.
  • Nov 2019: Input gathered from congregation given to partners.  Ongoing conversations with restoration experts John Gronen, Gronen Restoration; Duane Hagerty, Heritage Works; and Jeff Morton, Jeffrey Morton Architects.
  • July 12, 2020: Congregational meeting: proposals, visuals, estimated costs, and overview of financial support.  See meeting notes.
    • After, survey emailed to members.  See responses (PDF)
    • Based on responses, Board is moving ahead with next steps: preparing timelines and plans, identifying targets and outcomes, organizing resources to help determine whether the Fellowship has the funding and commitment needed for a successful building restoration.
  • July 2020: Survey sent asking for volunteers to help with tasks and estimates of individual pledges toward the project.
  • Aug 23, 2020: Congregational meeting: updates and proposed next steps.  See meeting notes.
    • Survey emailed to members to vote on next steps, including: soliciting external funds, applying for State Historic Tax Credits, and incurring some upfront costs with our partners.  We had a good turnout with 97% voting “yes,” so we’re moving forward.
  • Aug – Nov 2020: Samuel Felderman & Fundraising Work Group members conducted one-on-one conversations with members and friends to talk about fundraising, hopes, concerns, and questions.
  • Oct 25, 2020: Congregational meeting: updates on fundraising and financials.  See meeting notes.
  • Feb 21, 2021: Congregational meeting with Terri Droessler and John Gronen of Gronen Restoration.  See meeting notes.
  • March – July 2021: Walk-through building tours conducted by the UUFD Board for members and friends to have in-person conversations and share input.
  • June 13, 2021: Congregational meeting: updates on project cost and status of funding sources.  See meeting notes by clicking this link then choose “2021 Meeting minutes,” then “21.6.13 Congregational Meeting.” Email any Board member if you need the password or have questions.  

 Fundraising Timeline

  • Aug 2020: Financial and Fundraising Work Groups formed.
  • Aug 2020: Main Street Challenge Grant Proposal (PDF) submitted.  Unfortunately did not receive grant.  However, the work involved in the application was used in the creation of a promotional brochure for our project.
  • Aug 2020 – Feb 2021: 2:1 Challenge Match Offer.  A benefactor has made an extraordinary Challenge Match Offer: Every $1 we raise by February 20 will be matched with $2!
  • Sept – Nov 2020: Faithify fundraising campaign.  We reached our goal of raising $3,500. We will get the money raised, plus a 10% match from the MidAmerica Chalice Lighters Grant. With the matches, this project netted us nearly $12,000.
  • Nov 2020 – Feb 2021: Fundraising brochures mailed out to over 200 potential donors.  See page by page layout (PDF) and brochure layout (PDF).  175 supporters have invested in the project – that includes nearly every UUFD member and friend, along with community members and others connected to the Fellowship through you and your networks.
  • June 2021: Applied for Dubuque Racing Association (DRA) grant for $22,000 towards the lift – we should hear back on this grant by August 17th.
  • July 2021: We were awarded a $30,000 grant from the State Historical Society of Iowa to restore our church windows! Thanks to the grant writing team – Wendy Woodhouse, Jean Becker, Calvin Gatch – for your good work writing a successful Historical Resource Development Program (HRDP) grant proposal!
  • Ongoing: State Historic Tax Credit application process.
    • Part 1 submitted September 2020, approved January 2021.
    • Part 2 submitted June 2021. We estimate review and approval on or around August 15, 2021.
  • See our current fundraising total on the Donate page!


  • Construction could start August 15, 2021, contingent on getting approval of Part 2 of our State Historic Tax Credit application. Working with that target date, we’re starting to clear items from the church in order to have it empty by August 1. Our partners estimate the project will take about 9 months – with an anticipated completion of May 2022!