I haven’t published a blog post in a while…a long while, but I have a pretty good excuse. About two and half years ago, we did something super crazy. We bought a 100+ year old church.
The location was dear to our hearts and we just kind of fell in love it. You see, my wife and I were two of the original pioneers of the Blackstone District and after spending 7 delightful years in our old studio space at 40th and Farnam, we had to come to terms with the fact that we needed more space to stretch out a bit. And we knew our old studio space would be a great spot for a new retail store or a restaurant (it is now the current home to Almost Music and Solid Jackson Books!!!).
I had driven by the Pella Lutheran Church thousands of times over the last 7 years and had always loved the architecture and it’s location. The first time I walked inside, I was blown away by the ceiling, the potential, and most importantly, the light. I knew right then and there that this church needed to become an event space. There were multiple offers on the table to buy this building and at least one of those offers would have resulted in the building being bulldozed and turned into a parking lot. We fought so hard and in the end the building was ours. That was certainly one of the craziest things we have ever done. At no point in my life did the thought of buying a church every cross my mind!
The first year we spent converting the upper level to become an event space. The basic layout was already there, we just needed to fine-tune a few aesthetics and overhaul all of the mechanical systems. We worked to make that amazing light that I fell in love even more beautiful. The choir loft became a really amazing space to toss a bouquet or pose in a photo booth. The fellowship hall became a modern happy hour space. The concrete floors were sealed to produce a modern contrast to the amazing wood work. The altar was converted to a stage for a band or the head bridal table. New electrical, plumbing, and HVAC made the space cozy and dependable.
The upper level at The Pella at Blackstone before:
The lower level was a hodge-podge of Sunday school rooms, a long-abandoned fellowship hall, and a commercial kitchen for a caterer. It was all in pretty rough shape. And there was an odor. A musty, methaney, rotten egg kind of odor. This was going to me a little more challenging than the upper level, but like that space, the potential was there. It wasn’t technically a basement as all of the windows were above ground. Once we remove the decades-old curtains, you could only imagine the type of light that would stream through the windows…if only the windows weren’t amber. The first things we did was to replace all of the windows with clear glass- we kept all of the original mullions to keep the character intact. Then we ripped down the drop ceilings and opened the space up a little bit. The finished space has a very modern industrial feel to it. We kept the original detail everywhere we could and added new elements where we felt it would enhance the overall feel.
The lower level:
We look forward to showing you the space! Call, text, or email to set up an appointment.