Converting the 1906 First Church of Christ Scientist in Capitol Hill, may not be the easiest conversion project going on in the Seattle but may be one of the more interesting. The original iconic church was built in 1906 complete with custom molding and plaster work, beautiful stained glass windows and awe inspiring exterior stone work. The church sold for $1.1MM even though the vacant lot could have fetched twice as much. The church parking lot with a smaller footprint was sold for $2.3MM.
What was important to the church members according to the church treasurer, Tom Haak, was the preservation of the site. The developers who bought the condo including Joel Lavin are eager for the challenge posed by the building. The church, which is structurally sound, will require seismic retrofitting. In order to maintain the splendor of the original building, the stained glass dome will be enclosed in a central atrium which will be visible from many of the units.
The ~18 condos will be enclosed within the the existing structure surrounding the dome with the addition of clear windows. With an emphasis on preservation, some of the original white-oak pews will be used as doors, trim and benches for breakfast nooks. The marketing for the new condominium project is being handled by Thompson Team Real Estate Group, who note the community involvement in the projection including the use of focus groups in the designing process.
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