After a nearly 25 year preservation effort, the First United Methodist Church sanctuary building was saved from the demolition ball in March of 2008 when Daniels Real Estate and its financial partners, Stockbridge Fund II, purchased the building from the congregation.
After a deconsecration ceremony on Easter Sunday 2008, the congregation moved into the Belltown neighborhood where its new church was built at the corner of Second & Denny.
The preservation battle gained national attention because it pitted the public’s right to control zoning over a religious institution’s right to freely practice religion. In a 5-4 vote the Washington state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the congregation and allowed for the demolition of the building without city landmark protection. After years of negotiation an agreement to save the building and construct a new facility for the congregation was reached in 2007.
The original intention for the property by the congregation was to demolish the sanctuary building and build a 34 story high rise on the half block parcel. After purchase by Daniels the plans for the property now include the development of a new architecturally stunning high rise building that retains and compliments the historic sanctuary building.
Until the building goes under rehabilitation in 2015 the sanctuary building will be used for church services and a variety of concerts that take advantage of the building’s exceptional acoustics and its one of a kind Austin organ that was built specifically for the space.
For more information on the availability of the facility for events, please call the artist in residence, Mark Andersen.
For more information on the 25 year preservation battle please click here (http://fifthandcolumbia.com/news.html)
For more information on the proposed new high rise tower please click here (http://fifthandcolumbia.com/index.html)
For information to book concerts please contact
Mark Andersen at firstname.lastname@example.org