Of the three buildings viewed on the walk, the Baptist Tabernacle has fared the worst in terms of the ravages of time and the destruction of so many of its original design elements. Part of a rear wall near the roof gave way a few years ago, and a concrete block wall fills the cavity. Much of the interior design has been stripped away. However, once upon a time ...
The drawing shows how the original windows have been modified and cut down, and doors added to the front.
In addition, an entire floor has been added atop these steel beams, without regard for the original proportions -- first added, then largely unfinished, so that the "floor" above is little more than wavy plywood sheets tied down to two by fours.
However, the ground floor does not prepare the visitor for the scene up higher, in what has become a large, open room atop the plywood, where decorative ceiling details can be glimpsed and some semblance of the church's original grandeur finally discerned.
The helter skelter effect of the deteriorating old and the slipshod new reminded me of certain places I'd visited in Communist Eastern Europe, where there'd been no money to restore buildings (like churches) deemed unimportant, and where thankfully no effort had been made to tear them down.
In spite of such melancholy reflections, the tone of the day was upbeat, and the information dispensed fascinating. There are ways to use these buildings that are in keeping with the tone of downtown revitalization, and in such a fashion that the owner can receive tax credits at the same time.
It's matching the people with the opportunity, which is why real estate agents were in attendance. It's also about establishing an atmosphere conducive for potential investors, which is why you'll no longer find a link on NA Confidential to community web sites that don't represent the best this city can be.
As mentioned previously, I'll relay questions to the proper person -- just e-mail me privately.