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Church Update: 4/7/22

Many of you have asked for updates on the church we bought, so here’s that update:

We’ve begun the renovations. We’ve engaged the services of a building contractor who specializes in churches, which is fortunate because these spaces are in many ways unique and have singular issues. We’re starting with big stuff first: We’re redoing the roof (which will likely be the single largest expense, unless/until we try to refurb the pipe organ) and updating the electricity, and we’re having the sanctuary cleaned out and refurbed. The basement and the balconies are also scheduled for major renovations.

The work is underway and we’re hoping to make good time on it, but more important than “making good time” is to have it done well and how we want it done. We are fortunate that the plans we have for the church do not require immediate occupancy; we’re not in a rush. This is the best way to go with a project on this scale, I think.

I can say we’re very happy with how things are going. Our contractors are good folks, they’re excited about the project, and when all is said and done we’re going to have a space that is cool and invites use. There’s so much we want to do here and we’re on our way to doing it. It’s exciting to see things in process. It’ll be even more exciting when it’s done.

And there’s your update!

— JS

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

28 replies on “Church Update: 4/7/22”

I think buying a church is like buying a library – once you’ve bought it, it’s no longer what it was. So you don’t own a church, you own a building designed as a house of public worship. A church building, but not a church.

If you ever felt inclined to write a post on how you (not the general you, but you specifically) find contractors, I would read that with great interest.

I think people see church and assume something they have no reason to assume!

More specifically, I see this as an excellent event space, so I think you’re going to start holding some kind of event… I wonder…

I am SO jealous of your pipe organ! Our place was almost certainly too small and too rural to have something that fancy. I am thinking of getting some old organ pipes to hang as wind chimes.
Appreciate seeing what you guys are doing with that place.

@just different: I would be astonished if this were a hybrid organ. That would mean that serious money was put into it within the past twenty years or so, and probably on the more recent end. This seems inconsistent with small town Methodist church on the way down. A modestly sized pipe organ that is in serious need of refurbishment? Entirely consistent with a small town Methodist church on the way down.

I haven’t followed this project closely enough to understand what you’re trying to do with this project, but will share that my favorite church renovation project is Shotgun Players’ Ashby Stage. You can find a cursory description at Shotgun’s request for permit to sell booze, https://www.cityofberkeley.info/uploadedFiles/Planning_and_Development/Level_3_-_ZAB/ZAB%2006-12-08%201901%20Ashby%20Staff%20Report.pdf, and check it out in person when you’re in the neighborhood for Bay Book fest!! AD would know history, can be found at patrick@shotgunplayers.org. Cheers.

For a concise discussion of how pipe organs work, see the first (or maybe second, I don’t have it in front of me) chapter of Neal Stephenson’s “Cryptonomicon.”

I have no idea what you have planned for this space, but this type of renovation absolutely fascinates me! Any time you visit the building, I hope you’ll share the pictures here. (Or, if you prefer to maintain the air of mystery, I hope you’ll share some of the behind the scenes once the work is completed.)

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