January 15, 2017
You are likely aware of the charming historic Virginia Street Church, on the SE corner of Selby Avenue and Virginia Street. Its small scale and unusual shingle-style architecture with a rough stone foundation add to the personality and character of our neighborhood. Designed by Cass Gilbert in 1886, with a social hall addition designed later by Clarence Johnston, it is of unique historic and architectural importance to St. Paul.
The Friends of the Historic Virginia Street Church (“the Friends”) would appreciate your opinions about how this building could add to the vitality of our neighborhood. We are hosting an Idea Session on Saturday, February 18, from 2:00-4:00, in the social hall of the Virginia Street Church.
The program will begin with a short overview of the architectural significance of the building and a summary of the Conditions Assessment recently completed by the architectural firm, MacDonald and Mack, financed through a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant. That assessment included suggestions for updates. Then we would like to hear from you about community needs and how the social hall, in particular, could better meet those needs. Your candid feedback is essential as we move into the design phase and prepare for our next grant application.
The Swedenborgian congregation, one of the longest-continuing congregations in Minnesota, still worships in the church on Sundays and provides stewardship for the building. Desiring to expand the use of their building, the congregation entered into an agreement in 2015 with our newly organized 501c3 nonprofit, Friends of the Historic Virginia Street Church, whose mission is to preserve the building and to promote community use.
Please join us on February 18 for conversation and refreshments. If you would like a private tour of the building or are unable to attend the event, but would like to provide thoughts and ideas about productive uses for the building, contact Susan Flaherty (firstname.lastname@example.org or 651.797.2429).
Friends of the Historic Virginia Street Church
Susan Flaherty, Board President
Friends’ Board: Susan Flaherty (President) • Robert Ferguson (Vice-President) • Jean Schroepfer (Secretary) • Jeannette Hille (Treasurer) • Julia Robinson • Russell Goodman • Ted Lentz • Valarie LeMaster • Gordon Meyer (Ex-Officio)