The deserted former First Baptist Church in downtown Augusta has a brand new proprietor.
Sherman & Hemstreet Actual Property introduced Friday the sale of the church to 2 of its companions, Connie Wilson and Joe Edge. The acquisition from present proprietor Jeff Scott Rowe took virtually a 12 months, a information launch acknowledged.
The historic 16,228-square-foot church was constructed on Greene Avenue in 1902 and and options ornamental garlands, a symmetrical facade and different traits of the Beaux Arts type, in response to Historic Augusta.
“The constructing is critical each traditionally and architecturally and is likely one of the most unusual and recognizable buildings in downtown Augusta,” Edge mentioned.
The zero.43-acre tract features a marker designating the location as the place the Southern Baptist Conference was based in 1845, though the unique church burned within the early 1900s. The church housed the unique First Baptist Church of Augusta till the congregation relocated to west Augusta in 1975.
Edge mentioned plans are to repurpose the church and never raze it.
“Our goal is to avoid wasting this constructing and protect this nice piece of Augusta’s historical past,” he mentioned.
The constructing was condemned in 2015 after an inspector discovered homeless individuals sleeping underneath the portico, together with plaster falling from the ceiling. Within the rear of the church, he discovered a small prayer group gathered utilizing a propane burner for warmth, in response to Augusta Chronicle archives.
The massive construction was troublesome for small nonprofits to take care of and may see higher use as business workplace area or flats, Historic Augusta has mentioned. An adjoining former church constructing has been used as regulation places of work.
Edge mentioned present plans are to scrub up the grounds, add a brand new roof, restore the dome, safe the constructing and renovate an adjoining workplace constructing added within the 1920s.
“There aren’t any agency plans for the sanctuary portion of the constructing presently; nonetheless, a number of proposals are being thought of,” he mentioned.
The property has modified palms a number of occasions for the reason that congregation moved out however by no means discovered a everlasting use. In 2017, it offered for $65,000 to 802 Greene St. LLC and was now not exempt from property taxes, in response to tax data.