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Historic church converted into condos

Developers get creative saving landmark buildings
Posted: 11:27 AM, Apr 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-11 13:27:06-04

It’s not uncommon to convert an old warehouse into lofts or apartments.

But what about converting something a little more unique, a little more historic?

Something like, a church?

That’s what developers did in a Denver, Colorado neighborhood. The Gothic-revival, Methodist Episcopal church was built in 1889, designed by Denver architect Franklin E. Kidder. It was declared an historic landmark in 1970. But that didn't stop it from ending up abandoned as the neighborhood changed.

Enter developers with a vision. They re-envisioned the church as The Sanctuary Lofts. They preserved much of the church’s unique features, like the stained-glass windows, exposed brick, and wood paneling, and converted the church into condominiums. There’s even a confessional in one of the condos serving as the room’s focal point.

One of the 12 condos in this church was recently on the market. Realtor David Wheaton said each unit offers different pieces of the past. 

“In some units we actually have stained glass windows exposed and holy items that were a part of the church that are actually infused into the units," said Wheaton. “Many of these buildings such as this church, the congregation wasn’t able to support it financially. It kind of fell into disrepair for a while and it was deconsecrated at some time.”

While this conversion was done long before the current housing crisis, it underscores the need to find places to live. In this case, the condos come with a completely unique twist on what’s possible.

This converted church is just one example of creative living makeovers.

The Arcade, the first indoor shopping mall in the United States, is now home to 48 apartments.  The Arcade is in Providence, Rhode Island and was built in 1828. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark.

In Charleston, South Carolina, the Cigar Factory is another example of an historic building beginning a new chapter.  It was built in 1881 as a cotton manufacturing facility before converting to cigar production in 1903. While plans to transform it into condos 100 years later were ultimately scrapped, it’s now home to office, restaurant and event space.