Chip and Joanna Are Literally Transporting a Historic Church to Magnolia Market

Architect Sterling Thompson shared his thoughts about the incredible move.

Chip and Joanna Gaines Expanding Magnolia Market at the Silos with a Historic Church
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  • Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines announced in June 2019 their $10.4 million expansion of Magnolia Market at the Silos.
  • The Waco entrepreneurs are including a historic church as part of the renovation, which will need to be moved to Magnolia.
  • Architect and former church owner Sterling Thompson shared his thoughts.

    Chip and Joanna Gaines recently announced their ambitious plans to expand Magnolia Market at the Silos—plans that'll cost $10.4 million, to be exact. While their new additions and renovations are already sounding amazing—cue the brand new Wiffle ball field, retail spaces, Magnolia Press and a Magnolia Home Furniture showroom—there's another intriguing feature headed to the Waco, Texas tourist spot: a historic church.

    Originally built in 1894, the church sat empty for decades, according to The Waco Tribune. In 2015, it was named one of Waco's most endangered historic buildings, until the Gaines bought it from architect Sterling Thompson—the mind behind Magnolia Table—two years later. Now, the master plan for the $10.4 million expansion of Magnolia Market includes using the renovated church as a place to sit and possibly hold seminars.

    On September 4, the mother of five shared a glimpse into the process which involves 3-D technology. In the behind-the-scenes, Chip can be seen "walking" through a rendering of what's to come at the Silos, and we honestly couldn't be more excited!

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    Before the renovations at Magnolia Market began, Jo opened up about the purchase in the fall 2018 issue of The Magnolia Journal. “There are certain projects that sit in my heart. This is one of them," she said about the historic structure. "This church has a soul, and I look forward to letting it share its own story. We’re not rushing it; we’ll let it tell us in its own time. That’s what keeps me hanging on to this one."

    To get the historic structure to the Silos, the design duo has to—quite literally—pick up the church and move it onto the new green space. Getting the church to Magnolia Market will be an ordeal—the structure has an addition of a few rooms and a basement, and the steeple may even have to be removed and reattached during its big move. Architect Sterling spoke to the Tribune, detailing just how difficult the whole process could be.

    “Whether they have to dissect the building or not, it’s a big job,” he said. “But moving a structure that big can be done.” Renovations for Magnolia Market have already begun, and we can't wait to see when—and how—the historic church makes it over to the Silos.

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