A tipster has informed us that the next residential property might bring your bedroom to the church altar, literally. The Marcus Lindsey Memorial M.E. Church on the corner of Shelby Street and East Main Street has been vacant for years but may be the target of a new condo development. The church, dating to 1898, contains 10,000 square feet, the majority of which is in the vaulted sanctuary and the property is still listed at just under $900,000.
Quadrant Solutions, a producer of magnets for high-tech devices, purchased the building a few years ago along with the 1893-era fire station across Main Street. The company chose Louisville’s East Main Street over Seattle and Silicon Valley to consolidate it operations and corporate headquarters which now reside in the renovated fire station building. Initial plans for the church included retail or restaurant space and preliminary renovations were started to stabilize and clean the structure. Stained glass windows long covered with protective plastic were revealed to the sidewalk in the process. The property eventually made its way onto the market and is now being considered for residential conversion.
While the building’s form lends itself for an easy conversion from the worship of God to the worship of food, the layout will prove difficult to carve its 10,000 square feet into individual units, meaning each residence would be unique. The buildings wooden vaulted ceilings, gothic details, and intricate stained glass windows would definitely provide unusual residential details. The building is located in the Butchertown preservation area and covers its entire site meaning there is no on-location parking available. The project is still in preliminary planning phases, so we’ll see where these holy condos roll from here.
blasphemous and tacky.
I have seen some church to residence conversions that were done rather well. I think that in this market and location the idea is a little odd.
I have always wanted to see it converted into a club like the Tabernacle in Atlanta (http://www.tabernacleatl.com/)
As a docent at the Thomas Edison House who has driven by the building at least once a week for the past 6 years or so, it’s nice to see the transformation to (hopefully) something beautifully and practically re-purposed.
I watched them remove the slate roof from this building and staple on that temporary asphalt roof.
Turning it into a club would be truly “blasphemous!” Butchertown is a much more realistic place to infill and redevelop, as it is ALREADY a neighborhood filled with charm and character, not just a random building downtown that is peppered amongst businesses. It’s better to redo this church than as a Leo writer stated, “erect a twenty story glass building with codo’s that look like they are from a bad episode of Miami Vice.”
As a 10-year East Main resident, I love to see forgotten downtown buildings rediscovered and restored. Anything’s better than the church staying empty and continuing to deteriorate. Kudos to anyone who invests the time and $ into renovating for business or home. With recent closings of Primo, Market on Market, Browning’s, Park Place and soon-to-be Jennica’s a retail or food spot may not be the viable option at this time. We first need to increase residents/shoppers in the neighborhood, then hopefully these restaurants and businesses can thrive. Welcome to the neighborhood!
The creative reuse of this historic Butchertown Church as condominiums is appropriate and positive for Main Street and for the Butchertown Preservation District. Parking required for the condominiums can be easily and unobtrusively accomodated whereas parking for a restaurant could not.
Sacrilegious is the environmental waste of historic buildings because of our lack of creativity and innovation to reuse.
Sacrilegious is the loss of the stabilizing effect of neighborhood churches because of commercialized mega churches drawing off the benefits in the same way that Walmart destroys the corner grocery.
a church structure is just a building, bryan. most church-goers have heard often enough that the church is the people. if the church is gone, the structure can be anything. without a consecrated altar, baptistery, or other fixtures associated with a denominations’ sacraments, there is no issue of blasphemy. you’d prefer a ruin?
The residents of Butchertown and those persons that have emotional attachment and love for the historical buildings in Louisville, should all be comforted. I know the young couple that is trying to buy the church. After first visiting this church they fell in love. They fell in love with it and they fell in love with each other. Most of the church will be their home. The love they have for each other will fill it walls. They are not doing it for money. They are doing for love. There is no doubt in my mind, God is still working and living in the church.
I applaud the developers of the Church. What a novel idea. I live in the area and look forward to having other folks move into the area. I would rather have a condo development than a Bar.
Cheers to the couple buying and moving into the Church. What a great location.
The bats in the belfry of the church are a joy to watch and helpful as well, keeping the area free of bugs in the summer. I hope the renovators of the church will consider keeping them around!
A nice location of church to be lived in. I'm just wondering if it affect the operation where the noise of cars can heared for it's close to the road.