Villa Chapel

Reuse Plans for Chapel Created

Sep 09 2011

On Friday, Sept. 9 a large group toured the historic Villa Chapel, courtesy of HANDS – the Housing and Neighborhood Development Service. Four architects from Erie, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia along with board members from the Erie Center for Design and Preservation and Erin Hammersted (a Field Representative from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Pennsylvania) were present. In several areas of the chapel, plaster has fallen away to reveal the interior brick walls. Though the roof needs repairs, the structure is clearly stable. Despite the dust, the group saw great potential. Meeting in the community room at Temple Anshe Hesed, 25 volunteers worked with architects for five hours to create reuse designs. Possibilities suggested include: a child and adult day care service, a multi-use performing and visual arts center appropriate for weddings, a restaurant, and a 24 unit studio apartment complex. Adaptive reuse of the Villa Chapel promises to be an asset to the neighborhood by providing short-term renovation jobs and long-term employment and services from a business or non-profit housed in the chapel. Architect Jeff Kidder will be presenting several of the proposals at a press conference in October.

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