Conversion of Church on Chase Street
Vacant since the 1970’s, this beautiful Church was in need of some attention. We stabilized the structure by repairing the roof, fixing structural water damage, and restoring the drainage system. We took great care to restore the windows, reglazing all of the sash that were salvageable and duplicating those that could not be reclaimed. The asphalt siding was removed to expose the original beveled wood siding, which was repaired with cypress siding to match. The Church was painted to blend with the surrounding structures in the local historic district.
Skill Set: Design, Historic Preservation, Custom Woodcrafting, Weatherproofing, Conversion, Stabilization
Vacant since the 1970s, this beautiful church building had suffered the
weather for decades with little repair or thought for the future.
A hole in the roof had allowed water to cause a fair amount of damage to both the structure and the interior, all of which had to be repaired. First, though, the structure had to be stabilized to prevent further damage from the elements.
Sweating the Details
After the roof was fixed and the drainage system repaired to keep the water damage from worsening, we began to fix structural water damage.
Asphalt siding had been added, probably in the 1960s, and was removed to expose the original beveled wood siding. Portions of the beveled wood siding were removed temporarily to expose the water damage underneath.
In situations where siding required replacement, we used cypress beveled wood siding to match the original siding.
The interior of the church required some repair, including water damage to the ceiling and floor, spot repairs to walls and railings, and repairs to interior rooms.
We turned the interior of the church into a workspace while we removed and repaired the historic windows. Unsure how the structure would be used after we completed renovation, the interior was repaired, rather than completely remodeled.
A major part of this project was the painstaking repair of the church’s historic window sash. Each sash was carefully removed and assessed to find out which could be saved and which would have to be replaced.
Once we determined which sash we could repair, we carefully laid them out. All of the windows were reglazed to make sure they were weatherproof again. Some of the muntins has to be replaced. Some had to be duplicated because they were beyond repair.
A Fresh Face
After renovation was completed, the building got a fresh paint job. Colors were selected to fit in with the historic district in which the church is located.
It is almost difficult to believe that this is the same building that appeared ready to fall down just months before. The church, with its new face, is ready to once again participate in the life of the surrounding community.
No Longer an Eyesore
While the future use of the renovated church building is uncertain, the owner no longer needs to worry about growing water damage claiming more and more of the structure, and the surrounding neighborhood no longer views the church as an eyesore.
The possibilities for a renovated building like this are endless. From a private residence to a public meeting space, future uses of this building demonstrate the value of preserving and renovating buildings in Athens’ historic districts.