In the February edition of The Bulletin, we wrote: Renovation is about to get underway at the former Strawbridge Methodist Church at 201 Wilson Street at Park Avenue.
Bolton Hill Belfry, LLC, the building’s owner and developer, announced that major structural repairs in the sanctuary are completed. The project has recently won competitive historic tax credits from the Maryland Historic Trust. The owners also have applied for national historic tax credits. The early English Gothic-style church was constructed in 1889 and designed by renowned architect Charles L. Carson. The building has been vacant since 2009.
But that was in the Before Times, pre-pandemic. Here is an update from Daniel Kamenetz, who is leading the development:
“It may not look like much yet, but we are working hard on the Strawbridge renovation and making great progress. We have put together an excellent team with Edgemont Builders leading construction and Carballo Architecture leading up the design. Our team was recently interviewed in the Baltimore Sun for another historic re-use project on Baltimore street.
“After stabilizing the building and removing the emergency shoring, our next major challenge with Strawbridge has been to plan the preservation. Unlike other projects, we are preserving literally every single historic component of this building–down to the last window, door, stone, and slate. This requires much more planning than your typical historic adaptive reuse project.
“For example, there are over 50 windows in the building, and most are original stained glass and completely unique. These are the details to plan, budget, and contract out before the construction begins.
“At our last update we were planning for a November start date, but now it is looking more like January. This has been an exceedingly difficult year for construction trades and that has caused some delay. Once construction begins, we can move quickly. You will not see much transformation from the outside because the facade will remain as it is, but we will post weekly photographs of the interior on our Facebook page.
“Here is a shot of the sanctuary with the emergency shoring down. That shoring held the roof up for over ten years. We held our breath the day we finally started taking it down.”