“It’s a good day — we’ve had more than 40 people stop by,” said Amanda DeGrace, development coordinator for the Waterfront Historic Area League, or WHALE. WHALE is launching a capital campaign next month for First Baptist, which currently has no heat, crumbling plaster, windows with no glass and other structural problems.
The campaign will be conducted jointly with Your Theatre Inc., which announced an agreement to buy the building last November, through a collaborative effort with the city and WHALE. The total project cost could be about $1.4 million, Bernert said.
DeGrace said she had several conversations Saturday about the potential for upcoming “restoration tours” and work weekends at the church, where volunteers can pitch in with simple repair and upkeep tasks.
Not far up William Street, Gallery X vice president Charles Hauck said he’d had “a great turnout” at the church-turned-art-gallery, where musicians performed out front and colorful crafts adorned the walls inside.“For a first year, we’ll really happy,” Hauck said. “You go by these buildings, but you don’t always go inside. We want people to see the buildings, see the architecture and learn about it.”
“Everything above the cobblestones sometimes is forgotten,” Louro said.
“It’s about supporting them so they can advocate for themselves,” she said.
Follow Mike Lawrence on Twitter @MikeLawrenceSCT.