At the corner of South Swain and East Martin Streets in Raleigh, in a neighborhood that lies southeast from downtown, there sits an impressive brick church built in 1923. After years of use by congregations, a window of time serving as a home for The Salvation Army, and eventual vacancy, the structure had seen better days. ACS was hired by developer Ben Steel, of Steel Projects, to be a member of the restoration team. The careful process took nearly two years and was led by the fact the church is named a historical landmark by the City of Raleigh.
Every effort was made throughout the project to retain original details from the church or at a minimum make genre and age-appropriate modifications. While the original windows were carefully removed, steamed, and restored, we reclaimed oak wood planks from the basement floor and repurposed them for use throughout the main level. The slate roof was also updated with careful additions made to approximately a quarter of it. ACS also replaced aging electrical and plumbing systems to round out the renovation and prepare it for the demands of a new congregation. Combined with new lighting, paint and other details, the change has been profound.
Though the physical transformation has been obviously dramatic, there is also the more nuanced change the updated space has brought to this tight-knit community. Our superintendent noted that several people stopped by throughout the process to express their gratitude for our work to breathe new life into this neighborhood gathering spot. A meaningful restoration on many levels.