Thursday, December 14, 2017


RKA is featured in the December 2017 issue of Columbus CEO article about “Old churches find new uses in creative renovations”.  The following is excerpted from that article:

The sheer size of some sanctuaries can make them difficult to repurpose, says Peter Krajnak of the Rogers Krajnak Architects Inc. firm in Downtown Columbus. “The key is to find the right scale for the potential future use,” says Krajnak, a specialist in the design, expansion and renovation of churches. “So many spaces are so cavernous they become difficult to illuminate and to provide proper climate control.” That can make redeveloping a property for residential particularly difficult and expensive.

Krajnak said sanctuaries also are designed to carry sound well. “To create a quiet space can be a challenge,” he says.

Krajnak will not have to figure out how to mitigate that aspect of the sanctuary of the Central Presbyterian Church at 132 S. Third St. as a consultant to performance arts venue operator CAPA. The nonprofit bought the property for $589,000 in June 2013 as a future concert hall.

CAPA, the owner/operator of the venerable Palace Theatre and Ohio Theatre Downtown, bought the property about 19 months after the congregation ceased worshipping in the building, the original use dating back to 1857.

CAPA CEO Chad Whittington says the arts organization has yet to ask designers to put together a detailed plan for the property as it first concentrates on fundraising for the 2018 renovation projects at the Ohio and Palace. “It’s important to have a good plan in place,” Whittington says, comparing the venue to the Southern Theatre restoration and renovation completed in the late 1990s.

The former church will, after eventual renovations, have seating for up to 400. “The structure itself is set up very well for how we operate in the performing arts arena,” Whittington says. “We can take the hall (sanctuary) and freshen it up for use in smaller concerts and recitals.”