June 22, 2017 by: Vivi Pham

Recently, Ben Heimsath was quoted in a Washington Post article titled "Converting Churches to Condos Brings Logisitical, Social Challenges." The article discusses the recent trend of churches being reused for non-sacred functions. It focuses specifically on churches that have been converted into condominiums in the Washington D.C. area, highlighting the issues that developers and community face. These challenges include the church layout and condition, communication with the former congregation, loss of sacred spaces, and inconsiderate designs. Ben Heimsath, cited as an expert in church design and renovations, gave his thoughts on church renovations:


"Remembering that a church is more than brick and mortar is crucial when working with religious buildings, said Ben Heimsath, an architect in Austin who specializes in church design and renovations.

'Sadly, I think there are as many examples of what not to do as there are positive reuse projects,”'Heimsath said. “The most painful examples are the thoughtless or inappropriate use of church symbols or specific worship functions' — like an altarpiece reused as a table or a bar, for example. Ultimately, he said, it comes down to one thing: respect for the building’s former life." 

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The Bluebonnet Bakery in Fort Worth inhabits an old historic church and is a good example of a successful church reuse.

Adaptive Re-use/ Church Adaptive Reuse