It was built on the Old Northside of Indianapolis in 1912 to serve as Second Church of Christ, Scientist. In 1968, the Christian Scientists moved out and a Baptist congregation moved in for about 10 years before yielding to Jehovah’s Witnesses. And then this year the Witnesses sold this striking, even imposing building to a large multi-site Christian Church from central Indiana, which is now preparing to use it as its Downtown campus.
This is the same large multi-site Christian Church where Margaret is Director of Facilities. She had been issued a key. We went in to look about.
The place was immaculate and looked freshly painted. Carpets, seats, and other wear items all looked like new. Jehovah’s Witnesses took very good care of the property. So good that Margaret’s church will have to do very little to this space to begin to worship here.
The Witnesses left quite a bit behind, far more than just these knick-knacks on the foyer fireplaces. The lower level is full of tables and chairs, all set up and ready for a large crowd to come for a meal. Closets are full of cleaning supplies, including a dozen or so vacuum cleaners. A mixing board was left in the sound booth. And there are three furnished apartments in this building, with bedrooms and kitchens and living rooms. The kitchen drawers are full of cookware and tableware!
Remember the split-level homes so popular in the 1970s? Well, this is a split-level church. You go up a half level into the auditorium or down a half level into the fellowship area.
This is a formal structure, inside and out, befitting a building built in the neoclassical revival style. It was designed by Spencer Solon Beman, an architect from Chicago.
What I liked most about the auditorium is how well lit it was on this bright day. We didn’t turn on a light anywhere.
Most of the rest of the building was unremarkable, so I didn’t photograph much beyond the foyer and the auditorium. And being such a clean, classical design, there weren’t many details to focus on. But I did capture this light in the balcony.
And I photographed this window, as this pattern was a theme in all of the windows visible from the street and in many of the external visual details.
I love how the light diffuses through these windows and leaves a gentle reflection. The foyer and auditorium make pleasing use of natural outside light everywhere. It makes for a lovely worship space.