After the turn of this century, John Galik of Doca Design, purchased the vacant structure and worked for over 10 years to unveil Sanctuary Place. The new condo conversion project transformed the interior of a 19th-century church into a mix of beautiful history and comfortable living space. The transformation on the exterior included reconstructing flying buttresses, a wrought iron fence and the original bell tower (which is a key feature in the Bell Tower Loft). 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. In each loft, cathedral ceilings and massive wooden trusses are showcased by state-of-the-art lighting. Sunlight shines through stained glass windows onto the original heart pine floors, with custom maple cabinetry, bookshelves, stairs and contemporary appliances bringing the modern elements to life. Each unit maintains open visibility for the entire width of the building bringing in daylight through each loft space.
The front Bell Tower Loft takes advantage of the original church entryway for one bedroom and the organ loft for a second level bedroom space that oversees the soaring ceilings and the lower level kitchen, dining and living spaces.
The middle unit (the Inner Sanctuary Loft) is designed to create a symbiotic relationship between historic and modern. This tri-level condo features an entry area, kitchen, great room, and master bedroom/bath on the first floor. The stairs, featuring cable-wire railing designed by Portland, Oregon artisan Nate Stephenson, lead to the second-level living/sleep space that overlooks the lower level. The second level leads up to another bedroom and bath on the third level - featuring an old-fashioned claw bathtub and modern maple cabinetry.
Some of the church’s treasures were re-purposed for new uses. The pine floors on the upper floors are made from the building’s original pine roofing. The original wood floors on the ground level were "lightly" refinished to retain the "wear and tear" of 130 years of use. You can clearly see the indentations of women's shoe heels along where the original pews would have sat.
The exterior of the building has been completely restored to resemble its original 1889 design and is complimented by a lush landscape design by Savannah landscape architect John E. Fillhart. Cowart Coleman Group Architects also contributed to the Sanctuary Place project, including rendering the original floor plans and consulting on the exterior colors. A courtyard with fountain on the side of the church allows guests to relax and meet other visitors.
The current owners, Suzanne and Jon Huddy (an architect himself), are committed to maintaining the historic essence of the building and enjoy welcoming guests to the two finished lofts, the Bell Tower and Inner Sanctuary. The next step in this adventure through history is the completion of the third space (the Altar Loft) that will integrate the original church’s altar area into a new loft that will incorporate the most amazing stained glass windows in the entire building! We look forward to seeing you in Savannah, and, after all, aren’t we all looking for a little sanctuary?