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Converting sacred spaces to living spaces

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There are many condo conversions out there and many of them utilize old factories or storage spaces. Some of the coolest condo conversions out there, though, are churches.

Now, to some it might seem kind of odd to live in a sacred space, but churches have lots of square footage, interesting interior and exterior details and often have lots of big windows with natural light.

Here are a few cool ones (via MSN Real Estate):

This gorgeous living room is in a former New York City synagogue. Those windows are just beautiful and we love the wood paneling and modern glass banister.

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This might not look like an old church, but it is! Now a house in The Netherlands, this glass-front building started life as a church before becoming a warehouse and then being converted into a home. We’d say it fits in quite well with its surroundings and the large expanse of windows in the front must very nice for gazing out at the river.

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As beautiful as sacred spaces can be, there can be problems with converting them into homes. The old Lutheran church in the Chicago area put skylights into the roof to add extra light at the top of the church, but keeping the place warm can be an issue. As the owner, Andrew Sudds puts it, “We don’t keep the heat running; otherwise, we’d owe thousands of dollars in heating bills. But even if we did, the heat would just rise and escape through the roof. The fact is that this structure wasn’t built for continuous habitation.”

What do you think? Are church conversions a great way for a small congregation to raise money for a more appropriate-sized space while contributing to urban revitalization? Or are they nice but not very practical? Have you ever been involved in a church-to-condo conversion or know any builders who have?

Images courtesy of MSN Real Estate.