recently purchased Old St. George Church, which is located at 42 Calhoun St. in Clifton Heights, with plans to renovate the historic building. When completed next year, the former church will host services for Crossroads Clifton, one of the organization’s five worship locations in the Tristate.
Crossroads Clifton currently holds Sunday services at Bogart's on Short Vine but is limited in the number and time of services due to the venue's concert schedule. By moving to the Old St. George campus adjacent to the University of Cincinnati, Crossroads will be able to be open seven days a week.
Crossroads purchased the 142-year-old building from the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation
for $871,000. It joins a number of historic churches around Greater Cincinnati being rehabbed and redeveloped
, though perhaps the only one coming back to life as a worship center.
Samuel Hannaford built the Roman Catholic Church in 1873. St. George served the Clifton Heights and UC communities until 1993, when the Archdiocese of Cincinnati decided to close the building due to declining attendance. It was then purchased by Christian Ministries Center and housed a community and arts center
for a few years.
The building's twin steeples and other parts of the building were damaged by a fire in 2008 and are in need of repairs. Crossroads' renovation plans will stick with the building's original design and retain much of the stained glass and architectural features.
Designs include an 800-seat auditorium, which would make it the largest non-athletic event space in Uptown; a coworking area; lecture space; and a place for outdoor events. Crossroads hopes to attract about 2,000 people per week, and not just for church services — curriculum includes workshops, small group meetings, Go Cincinnati projects and the Whiz Kids tutoring program.
Old St. George also needs a new fire alarm and sprinkler system; a new roof; upgraded heating, cooling and ventilation; updated plumbing and electric; and asbestos removal. Crossroads plans to add video screens, lights, projectors and a sound system to bring the facility up to date.
There's a fundraising campaign
underway to raise $11 million for the building’s renovation.