The Fargo-Moorhead Heritage Society recently announced winners of their 2017 Preservation Awards, which recognize buildings and other amenities for their historical significance and success in preservation, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse.
Sanctuary Events Center was awarded the Adaptive Reuse Award in recognition of its transformation from an underutilized church to a wedding and event location and retail center.
Adaptive reuse is the process of repurposing a building for a use other than its original purpose. Often, it is implemented in historical, abandoned, and/or underutilized spaces to give them new life, while continuing to respect their past.
This perfectly describes the process of revitalizing Sanctuary Events Center, which was formerly known as St. Mark’s Church. The renovations focused on retaining many of the space’s historical aspects – such as the original structural beams and stained-glass windows – while simultaneously redesigning it to be functional as an event location and retail center.
You can see this process in the video below:
Why is adaptive reuse an important tool to utilize in communities? There are a variety of reasons.
First, adaptive reuse is generally considered more sustainable and environmentally friendly than demolition and new construction. This is because existing building materials available in adaptive reuse lead to a lesser need for new construction materials, and avoiding demolition leads to less waste. It allows the resources originally used to create the buildings to continue serving the community.
Second, inspiring new uses for abandoned buildings and preventing their demolition into vacant lots creates more property value for the city, while also improving feelings of safety and sense of place.
Finally, adaptive reuse allows cities to preserve and celebrate their history. Architecture is one of the most visible and durable representations of the past. While buildings’ original purposes may not be sustainable for the future, their architecture can be. By repurposing these structures of the past, we can inspire the future, and preserve a city’s story.
You can read more about adaptive reuse at these links:
Preservation: Home at 514 9th Street S, Moorhead
Public Amenity: 1924 Fire Truck, Fargo
Reconstruction: Garage at m8 6th Street S, Fargo
Preservation: South 8th Street Lights
Rehabilitation: Front Street Tap Room at 614 Main Ave, Fargo