Our latest listing at 825 Overton Street (MLS 527053) in the East Row Historic District, Newport, Kentucky, is an extraordinary example of adaptive reuse. Built in 1901 by the First Temple Society of Spiritualists, this 6,183-square-foot former church is now an elegant and functional 4-bedroom, 2 full bath / 2 half bath home.
The church originally featured a 36-foot by 75-foot sanctuary with a 44-foot-high ceiling, a choir loft and storage space, and four doored rooms off the entry hall. Six, brightly colored original stained glass windows flank the former sanctuary / now-great room, which is really four modern rooms in one: kitchen, living room, dining room, and billiards room. Beautifully-restored Mississippi white pine flooring and other original woodwork details and hardware are found throughout.
The remodeled designer kitchen sits in the old, extended altar space.
Overlooking the great room is the former choir loft / now-master suite, which features a sitting area and luxurious bath. Exposed wooden beams highlight the ceiling.
Nestled among its neighboring historic homes on Overton Street, the church’s original iron gate–manufactured by the Buecker Iron Works of Newport (founded in 1858)–provides the framework for its symmetrical Colonial Revival exterior.
A recently added, 2-car garage is reachable from Gugel Alley on the back of the home.
Historic churches are important to the fabric of a neighborhood and community, serving as local landmarks and helping to establish local identities. Unfortunately, adaptation occurs less frequently than demolition of old churches. Church buildings are designed for a single use and group of users, and their interiors are built in a grandiose, awe-inspiring manner to hold large gatherings of people. From a functional perspective, similarities in secular society emphasizing this kind of space are somewhat limited (think movies, plays, musical performances). The well-done conversion of 825 Overton to a single family home is definitely an exceptional plus for its neighborhood.