The Duck Church, a landmark on the Outer Banks of North Carolina that was to be demolished this fall, has been saved by an architectural historian who plans to resurrect the building as a bed and breakfast about 20 miles west of Williamsburg.
Brian Grodineer, who runs a B&B with his parents in Charles City, Va., read a Washington Post story that the church, which dates from the early part of this century, was coming down to make way for a new United Methodist Church in the Village of Duck. He contacted the church pastor, the Rev. Bill Ruth, who told him he could have the building for no cost if he promised to reconstruct it. "I took the building sight unseen," he said.
Over the last couple of months, Grodineer and friends have traveled to Duck frequently to prepare to take the church apart. They have numbered each piece of the white frame building, and this week plan to start moving the church in pieces to Virginia.
Grodineer hopes to begin rebuilding the church soon on his parents' property, called Tiny Grove. He said he already has a site picked that will face the road, just as the church did in Duck.
The Duck Church, near the main highway that runs along the Atlantic shoreline for about 20 miles north of the Wright Memorial Bridge, was a one-room schoolhouse in the early part of this century. In 1926, it was purchased by the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Over the last five years, the population of the area has grown rapidly and so has church attendance. Last year, church officials decided to build a bigger sanctuary. During months of discussion with Dare County officials, church leaders tried to find a way to add on to the old structure but finally decided that would be impractical.