NOTE: The following post appeared in August 2019, showcasing photos from a visit to St. Matthew Lutheran Church. This week (July 2022), one of those photographs was featured in the “Vintage American Stained Glass” Facebook Group, where it was potentially seen by up to 6,600 members. Work is still progressing on the building, so we thought we would re-introduce you to this beautiful space.
As the real estate agent handed out flashlights to those entering the venerable St. Matthew Lutheran Church building on Sunday afternoon, he shared words of admiration for those who built the structure and the craftsmanship inside.
Entering the front door, one takes a short flight of stairs to immediately arrive in what can only be described as a breathtaking sanctuary. Light streamed through stained glass windows, including the large west window which features a scene with shepherds and a descending angel with a background of rich blues and greens.
The ceiling of the sanctuary has a magnificent, stained glass dome. If and when cleaned, it would undoubtedly be something to behold.
The former St. Matthew Lutheran Church is for sale through Wilson Family Realty, which opened it on Sunday for members and friends of the Richland Preservation Action Group. The history of the building, and of the congregation that called it home for almost 100 years, can be read in this Landmarks of Mansfield post dating from March of 2018.
During the tours, particular features of the building were remarked upon by those present. One took note of the large fellowship or social hall in the basement. Another talked about plaster repair, and speculated on a renovation price tag. Two joined in a conversation about the church’s potential use as a bar.
Such ideas are not unheard of. The Bluestone on East Broad Street in Columbus is an event venue with a wide range of uses, and housed in a former church.
As they talked, one commented about that potential with a location in a residential neighborhood. “The neighbors won’t mind,” the other responded. “Those walls are at least three bricks thick!”
The former St. Matthew Church lends itself to any number of possible purposes, not the least of which is as a church building. It is also well laid out as a small concert hall, and the basement space has many community-focused options. Financial incentives tied to the building’s history are available for the intrepid investor, depending on its ultimate use.
Several photos were taken; click each for a larger image.