Located atop Seattle’s eclectic Capitol Hill, First Church of Christ, Scientist is being converted into an architecturally distinct residential project. “The developers have established that their main goal is to preserve the grandeur and integrity of this historic building, while providing much sought after housing units in this most central of Seattle’s neighborhoods” said Ryan Thompson of Thompson Team Real Estate Group, the firm marketing the project. In a departure from the normal developer controlled design process, the Thompson Team held several public focus groups allowing for individuals to take part in the design process. “We were shocked by the amount of community involvement and support for this project. It is amazing how the local community will respond when given a chance to participate in shaping their neighborhood.”
Built in 1906, First Church of Christ, Scientist is a monument that will be preserved through careful renovation and refurbishment. Great care and expense will be taken to retain and expose the unmatched craftsmanship of the artisans that carefully erected this structure over 100 years ago. This once communal space will avoid wreckage and be renewed for the next century as urban appropriate residences. These unique homes will retain the nobleness of the church through the re-purposing of existing elements, such as custom molding and plaster work, stained glass, original wood and the imposing stature of the stone exterior. The giant awe inspiring stained glass dome that filters light into the interior spaces will now adorn the ceiling of a communal atrium viewable from all of the homes.
“The primary issue was the adaptive re-use of this City landmark from religious to housing. As practiced preservationists know, it does no good to save a building if it lacks a viable modern use because then the building becomes a white elephant which is economically difficult for an owner to maintain or sell", said Christine Palmer, Preservation Advocate of Historic Seattle.
Christine also noted that, "the members of the Architectural Review Committee recognized this fact and encouraged the church's adaptive re-use with a sensitive design for the exterior. The design architects from the Runberg Group responded with an ingenious system to enclose and preserve some of the stained glass windows behind clear glass panels. The building will not be gutted and the twelve individual residences inside will be placed around the roof dome with some new window openings of clear glass. The Committee members remarked that it will look lovely when lit up at night. This landmark will live for another 100 years without severe exterior alterations. Please help me get the word out to other Capitol Hill neighbors that hey can continue to celebrate the presence of this grand old building without fear of insensitive alterations,”
The developer has retained Seattle’s prestigious Sechrist Design Associates Inc. as the interior design firm for the project. The inspiring existing architecture led Sechrist Design to develop several exciting new concepts that will integrate the historical reality of the building with a layering of more modern interior architectural elements.
Thompson Team Real Estate Group is accepting registrations for interested parties to participate in pre-sale opportunities or to purchase and design their own