Church buildings play an instrumental role in the social and aesthetic fabric of neighborhoods. And while its much less common for churches to change hands than traditional homes, this week's Historic Properties for Sale post features three such buildings with a lot of potential for new life as houses, houses of worship, or pretty much anything you can dream up.
Congregational Church - Bethlehem, New Hampshire
Built in 1877 as a Congregational Church, this spectacular structure was upgraded in 1997 to include new wiring, heating, plumbing, insulation, and foundation. The irreplaceable woodwork and wainscoting covering the walls and ceiling has not been touched. Features include a 2,200 square feet hall, a foyer, an office, a fully functional lower level, and upstairs living area. The building is topped by the original steeple and wooden clock which has been refurbished and is fully functional. Pricetag: $159,000
St. Philip Monumental - Savannah, Georgia
This historic church building is located in Savannah's Downtown Historic District on the corner of Jefferson and Park Streets. Excellent opportunity for continued use by a church or community organization, or redevelopment to accomodate a wide array of uses to include residential, student housing, senior housing/assisted care, and education related uses. Pricetag: $2,400,000
Old Bethel Church - Lewes, Delaware
This one-room “preaching house” (John Wesley’s term), officially called Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church, was built in 1790 and used as a church for 80 years. Replaced in 1870 by a larger building, it was sold, moved one block north, and converted into a residence. Known locally these days as “the meeting house” or Old Bethel Church, the building sits squarely in the middle of the historic district of Lewes, Delaware, just two blocks from the shops, restaurants, and museums of the town, and is surrounded by other old homes. It is one of many interesting dwellings on Mulberry Street and less than a block away rests the oldest house in Delaware, the Ryves-Holt House, c. 1665. Pricetag: $549,900
David Garber is the blog editor at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.