Historic Downtown Charleston church tackles major restoration - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Historic Downtown Charleston church tackles major restoration

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From the flooring, to the walls and the wiring inside the walls,  St. Matthews Lutheran Church congregation tackles a nearly seven million dollar project to preserve the old Downtown church, while updating the building to current codes.

Church leaders realized the need for construction after a three year study of the church found structural instability and water damage. 

Once completed, the building will be more energy efficient. Crews will replace current lighting with  LED bulbs, and they will replace the current HVAC system. The upgrade is expected to cut energy costs by a third.

Walls will be stripped and repainted. Tile will replace the red carpet down the center aisle.

Over the course of the 13 to 18 month construction,  the congregation will meet in the gym on the church campus.

"This has been the place we gathered for worship. So we may not have the ambiance. This is still the place we gather, and receive guest, and have relationships with our neighbors," Rev. Dr. Robert Wallace said.

The church survived two major hurricanes, including Hugo, and the massive fire in the 1960's. 

The most immediate work begins on the outside, securing the church. The iconic pink stucco and red doors aren't being changed, though they'll be refinished.

The pastor sees the move into the gym while the work drags on, as a chance to grow member's faith.

By August, the site will be a full construction zone. 

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