Born Again: Dad’s Garage Theater converts a church
When apartment construction booted Dad’s Garage Theatre from the longtime Inman Park space in 2013, artistic director Kevin Gillese started a several weeks-lengthy pursuit of a brand new home. After touring 20 qualities, Gillese joined a cavernous Old 4th Ward church last spring. His reaction: Hallelujah!
The 12,000-square-feet building on Ezzard Street (a block in the original Thumbs Up Diner) have been leased through the Atlanta Metropolitan Christian Church, that was outgrowing the area. Gillese saw three key attributes: a buzzy location a congregation-sized parking area and architectural masterdom like “wicked cool” steps, stained glass, and sanctuary ceilings sufficient for any light-and-seem grid.
The Dad’s crew, which for the time being performs from 7 Procedures in Little Five Points, isn’t alone in the interest in vacated church buildings. “The type of buyers is lengthy, and also the availability isn’t,Inches states Ron Arzet of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, a church sales specialist. But zoning rules could make converting sanctuaries for other purposes “impossible to get over.”
Dad’s effectively won rezoning, and also to cover the mortgage on its $two million chapel elevated $169,000 on Kickstarter-matched by an anonymous donor. Gillese states the church will undergo a “desanctification ceremony” before Dad’s irreverent improv shows begin in mid-2016.
Other spiritual-to-secular conversions
From church to . . . 2,500-square-feet flats
850 Euclid Avenue, Inman Park
Last congregation: Lizzie Chapel Baptist Church
Resurrected as: Lizzie Chapel Flats (ongoing)
Church offered for: $684,000
Conversion story: The 1930 Neoclassical Revival-style building has housed four congregations, ending using the lofts’ namesake in 2005. Kairos Development intends to transform the church into six 2,500-square-feet apartments by early 2016. Selling points includes 10-feet ceilings and big home windows. The costs are TBA.
From church to . . . offices, yoga studio
887-889 Wylie Street, Reynoldstown
Last congregation: Bearden Temple A.M.E. Church
Resurrected as: Offices for Kronberg Wall architecture firm and the other business TBA
Church offered for: $550,000
Conversion story: Based on church records, the temple was built-in 1922 of granite quarried at Stone Mountain and transported by horse and buggy. Kronberg Wall will occupy the upstairs and lease the floor level as offices or perhaps a yoga studio. Bonus: a simple stroll to MARTA along with a future Atlanta BeltLine extension.
From church to . . . 22 lofts with skyline views
985 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Poncey-Highland
Last congregation: Atlanta Highlands Church of Christ
Resurrected as: Providence on Ponce lofts
Church offered for: Not in property records the LLC that bought the church is not functioning. A 1-bed room loft offered for $159,500 in 2014.
Conversion story: In 2004, the developer pitched the previous religious compound-sanctuary, courtyard, classrooms, and offices-as Atlanta’s first eco-friendly church-to-loft conversion. The complex is close to the Freedom Park trails.
This short article initially made an appearance within our May 2015 issue underneath the headline “Born Again.”