Repurposed buildings tick a lot of real estate envy boxes for me, so when I saw the listing for this church, I kind of lost my mind. And by ‘kind of lost my mind’, I mean that the very next day I made my husband drive 20 miles with me out to the little town that houses this beauty so I could gawk at it from the outside, in person, like a creep, and then proceed to plead, wheedle, cajole, beg, bargain, and otherwise attempt to convince him that it wouldn’t be completely ridiculous to list our current lovely home that is in no way ready to go on the market and MOVE HERE IMMEDIATELY. Because:
Just look at the soaring volume of the main living space in the former sanctuary! Look at the windows! The light! The wood floors! Think of the possibilities! Think of the parties (both roller skating and not) that could be hosted here!
Another view, looking towards the former choir loft:
How great are those lights? Those tall arched windows? And, oh, that board and batten wainscoting? Plus, how fun would it be to put your own personal stamp on this place? I’d probably take it in a slightly different direction, decorating-wise, maybe do more of a industrial/vintage science lab/Victorian cabinet of curiousities thing, but, dang, that’s just a matter of personal style. The bones here are so good. And that former choir loft?
It’s now the kitchen, and I’m furiously in love with that vintage stove. I don’t think I’d change a thing about the kitchen. Except add a jukebox. So good.
What else? The yard had a great start, was a good size, and the side yard in particular could easily be a gem of a pocket garden. The bathroom has wonderful exposed brick walls. And honestly, I was a bit bummed when we drove out there by how much I loved the exterior of this place. I was sort of hoping we’d drive by, it would be a dog in person (it happened with an old brick schoolhouse I found a few years ago), and I could let it go. But no, it was awesome and just had a great vibe. My husband is trying to talk me off the ledge, but even he admits that it is actually pretty magnificent and very tempting. Adding extra sting? The price isn’t outrageous.
It also looks like it maybe desperately needs attention to the roof, it would make our commutes a bit nutty, there isn’t any kind of garage or outbuilding for storage, it is probably a total bear to heat in the winter, and doesn’t have any of the amenities we said it would take to get us out of our current home —like a fireplace, land, or close proximity to a lake.
And…as an investment, it’s a tricky space. There appears to be only one, maybe two, smaller separate room/s other than the bathroom. That could be a deal-breaker for anyone with kids. That’d be a lot of together time! So if one were to buy it, you’d have to know going in that resale might take rather longer than with a more traditional space. The pool of potential buyers will just be smaller. (But probably passionate!) Also? This church has historic register status, which I believe throws up all sorts of roadblocks/added expense when it comes to remodeling/doing any kind of addition. And there’s this:
If you look closely at the first interior picture, you can see that the chancel area (where the altar would have been) has been separated from the nave portion of the sanctuary by some black curtains. The chancel is being used as a bedroom, with the altarpiece serving as a kind of headboard. To me, that’s great, it makes perfect sense, and I would probably hire an artist friend who does a lot of work restoring church frescoes/art around the Midwest to restore that painting (check out some of his work at http://www.muralworks.net/). But when I originally found the listing and excitedly showed it to another friend, the idea of living in a former church in general and of living with THIS painting/bedroom setup in particular really skeeved her out, big time. So I get that investing in a space like this is risky. It’s not for everyone.
But…it has a bell tower! It was built in 1870! The light! The volume! It is gorgeous and unique and weird and deeply impractical but also completely perfect. This case of real estate lust is going to be hard to shake. Maybe the current owner would be willing to swap houses????
What about you, could you live in a former church? Here’s the complete listing again in case you, too, are smitten: https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/oh/pataskala/218-s-vine-street/pid_10669071/
Happy dreams….and if you end up getting it, maybe let me come for a tour? 😊
(Other than the first picture, all images come from the listing.)