© 2019 Black Raven Architects LLC

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YPSILANTI PERFORMANCE SPACE

218 N. Adams Street

Ypsilanti, Michigan

The former First Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Ypsilanti was purchased early in 2018 by local residents and preservationists Steve Pierce and Maggie Brandt. The 130-year-old church had been on the market for over 10 years, as the dwindling congregation found maintenance increasingly difficult and unaffordable. Fortunately, the building is in sound condition and retains original stained-glass windows, lighting fixtures, pipe organ, and other furnishings. Pierce and Brandt are replacing the sanctuary roof and making other urgent repairs prior to a long-term restoration of the building. The former sanctuary was reopened on May 16 as a performance and event space, modeled on The Old Church Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon. Restoration and modernization plans are being developed for the remainder of the building. An existing banquet hall will be expanded, handicapped access and new restrooms provided, and new mechanical systems installed. The project will take advantage of Federal Historic Tax Credits to assist in cost of the renovations and insure the historic integrity of the building is preserved.