Originally constructed in 1859 with additions in 1912 and virtually untouched since then, Wheatland Church is the oldest Methodist church west of the Trinity River (designated as a Recorded Texas Landmark in 1965.) At the start of rehabilitation, the sanctuary ceiling, the original rear wall (now interior) and the exterior walls exhibited significant deflection and structural distress (including more than 8” of sag in the sanctuary ceiling,) and the church was not being used because of safety concerns.
Protecting the stained glass windows was the first step in the rehabilitation process. After leveling the building perimeter structure, wall framing on the south wall and original west wall was exposed so that new engineered wood members and new steel columns could be introduced. Non-original wall and ceiling panels, earlier but also non-original wall and ceiling papers, and interior tongue & groove siding were removed. Once exposed and braced, the framing was incrementally brought back into plumb and new framing introduced; sagging long-span joists were replaced by new laminated veneer joists. New wall panels made to match the earlier profile were installed, sanctuary coffer beams reconstructed and new ceilings were installed throughout. Three windows in the choir, previously concealed from the interior, were exposed in the renovation.