February 21, 2017 by: Ben Heimsath

Full disclosure, our firm was involved in moving St. Boniface to a new facility, leaving a Mid Century Modern church vacant and ready for a new use. The congregation built a distinctive stone edifice in 1960 close to the active creek that runs along the edge of the unincorporated town of Comfort, Texas. That creek is the reason for the church’s relocation in 2006.

Old St Boniface Comfort.jpg

On two separate occasions, major floods inundated the nave. Miraculously none of the stained glass was broken, but interior repainting and repairs were required. The church celebrated its 100th anniversary in the new building we designed on to a new site on higher ground. The old building was desacralized. We weren’t involved in the sale, but apparently a shop for lighting and architectural details was housed there for a time and recently closed its doors. Mid Century Bell Tower Comfort Church.jpg

I dropped by to see the old church last week to see what was happening at the old church and I saw the “For Sale” sign. The space could still serve for another church. The sale offer notes that the stained glass can be kept with the building. Other prospective buyers may be interested in an office or other retail establishment. Though not the most outstanding architecture of its day, the bell tower is an inventive variant on the traditional church tower.

Mid Century Church for Sale.jpg

Whatever the new use, the new owners will have to be ready for cleaning up in the event of another flood. A stone church of this kind isn’t easily raised to a higher floor level, or moved to a new site. At some point, the settlement of Comfort, or Kerr County will have to address flooding from Cypress Creek. In the meantime, someone with some innovative ideas for some durable materials may be able to make good use of the space.

The old St. Boniface is located at Broadway and Fifth Streets in Comfort, Texas    

Adaptive Re-use/ Church Adaptive Reuse