History of Sanctuary Place
For more than 120 years, people have been drawn to the building at the corner of Duffy and Barnard streets in the historic Victorian neighborhood of Savannah, Ga. The very first worshipers belonged to the Episcopal faith of St. John’s Parish, whose Church Aid Association secured the property at Barnard and Duffy streets, completing the building in 1889. The new church, one of two in Savannah designed by renowned architect Alfred S. Eichberg, became the home from which St. Matthew’s Chapel was admitted into the Diocese of Georgia as St. Paul’s Church in 1892. The congregation eventually outgrew the space, with St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church calling it home from 1907 to 1943. The Greek Orthodox congregation added another entrance, allowing for men and women to enter separately. Garvin’s Temple Baptist Church was the next congregation to occupy the historic church, adding their touch with memorial stained glass windows dedicated to departed loved ones. The saga of the picturesque church began with an Episcopal congregation in 1889 and has come full circle as a condo conversion project that transformed the interior into a state-of-the-art living space while restoring the exterior to its original glory.
Traditional Meets Modern John Galik of Doca Design LLC unveils Sanctuary Place - a condo conversion project that transformed the interior of a 19th-century church into a state-of-the-art living space and restored the exterior to its original glory. The transformation on the exterior includes reconstructing flying buttresses, a wrought iron fence and the original bell tower. Stunning stained glass windows from the original Episcopalian church remain, while Savannah historic preservationist Stephen Hartley restored dozens of stained glass memorial windows originally installed by the Baptist congregation that worshiped there later. The middle unit of three condominium spaces has been remade into a living area that is designed to create a symbiotic relationship between old and new. Cathedral ceilings and massive wooden trusses are showcased by state-of-the-art lighting. Sun shines through stained glass windows onto the original heart pine floors, with custom maple cabinetry, bookshelves, stairs and stainless steel appliances bringing the modern elements to life. The tri-level condo features an entry area, kitchen, great room, ;and master bedroom and bath on the first floor. The stairs, featuring cable-wire railing designed by Portland, Ore. artisan Nate Stephenson, lead to the second-level office space that looks over the downstairs. Another bedroom and bath - featuring an old-fashioned claw bathtub and modern maple cabinetry - are found on the top level. Galik also has recycled some of the church’s treasures for new uses. For example, the pine floors on the middle level and the third-story bedroom are made from the building’s original pine roofing. The exterior of the condominiums has been completely restored to resemble it’s original 1889 design by renowned architect Alfred S. Eichberg and is complimented by a lush and low-maintenance landscape design by Savannah landscape architect John E. Fillhart, PhD. Cowart Coleman Group Architects also contributed to the Sanctuary Place project, including rendering the original floor plans and consulting on the exterior colors.
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