SAVE THE STAIRS…AND THE CHURCH THEY SERVE
The time to save First Presbyterian Church from demolition is NOW. Your Society along with Landmarks Foundation has made an offer to purchase option and are negotiating with the current owner, First Baptist Church right now. This brings us to a point where we must raise the funds to purchase, in the belief that we will then be able to resell to the appropriate user or congregation. FYI, grant funds are not available for purchase of a historic building, just its restoration. With MCHS and Landmarks working together, we hope to raise the funds to purchase the entire site, offered at $500,000, including the newer chapel and Sunday School rooms, totaling 36,000 square feet. You will be receiving shortly information on how to pledge your contribution to this important community cause.
As the oldest church in Montgomery, First Presbyterian Church deserves a place in history. If we are to be the advertised “Historic Destination”, we cannot let this landmark disappear. In addition, the rare Gothic revival sanctuary was built in 1845-47 by John Figh, the builder of our Society’s office, the Figh Pickett Barnes School House (1837) and the 2nd State Capitol (1849) after the first burned (1849). You may have seen the floor tiles Figh rescued from the first Capitol and preserved on his/our dining room floor. Knowing that Horace King designed and built the 3-story free-standing double spiral staircase in the Capital, we believe that he also built the graceful 2-story version in First Presbyterian Church. This Sanctuary is history personified, celebrating skilled craftsmen wherever you look.
We are hoping to find the ultimate appropriate user, preferably a new congregation with a related school to use the space, and if so, use the resell funds to provide a revolving loan fund for the estimated $250,000 in restoration repairs and maintenance. Other adaptive reuses such as event space, a central Montgomery History Museum, office space, restaurant, boutique hotel, are being explored. The ultimate goal is to keep this historic structure for future generations to appreciate the skill and dedication that went into building a church 170 years ago.