House Crazy Sarah came across this amazing church-to-house conversion in an old house owners Facebook Group. She was so impressed with the befores and afters, she just had to contact the owners to see if they would share their photos on her little old blog. They graciously agreed!
Taylor and Alexandra Abbott are the very talented young couple behind this incredible transformation.
Taylor wrote a long message about the story of how this transformation took place, so we’ll let him tell the story in his own words…
The church was originally built in 1906 in Clarington, Ohio as the Church of Christ. It served the community until 2016 when membership dropped to 5 officially.
By that time much of the structure and foundation had deteriorated significantly. It was offered to our town council but they refused due to the condition of the building and it being a liability. My grandmother owned her own upholstery business and helped decorate and redo homes for over 40 years, including remodeling her own home multiple times. Over Memorial Day Weekend 2016, I took her and we went and looked at the church when I was considering buying it. Gam and I looked it over, discussed it’s potential and I agreed to buy it. At that time I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it, all I knew is that I didn’t want it torn down.
Curiosity got the best of me so within days of buying it I decided to remove a few tiles from the drop ceiling. As soon as I saw the ceiling I instantly decided I was turning the place into a house. My fiancé thought I was crazy but she said she trusted me so off we began on a three year journey.
As you can see from the pictures, we essentially kept the original bones and strengthened them, added a whole new electrical and plumbing system, new foundation wall, roof, and rebuilt the bell tower.
Inside it is a two ton bell. A neat tidbit is that my fourth great grandfather Reuben Thomas and his brother Thaddeus were both steamboat captains and philanthropists in our community and area. A year or so after buying the church, I learned that they donated a great deal of the money to help build the church in 1906. They were not members (most of the family were Episcopal and Catholic – my wife and I are Catholic) but wanted to help get the church built. Fast forward 113 years and their descendant now owns the building that they helped build. I guess deep inside my gut was telling me I had to have it and do this. My wife and I have poured our heart and soul into what we now affectionately call “Abbott Abbey.”
All of the gutting work was done by my wife and I with the help of my mom and dad. My cousin did all of our electrical system. The rest was done by contractors we hired out to complete the work.
Isn’t it gorgeous?
Look at the exterior before and after:
What a transformation!
This old church is so fortunate that Taylor and Alexandra Abbott had the vision, passion, and gumption to give her the new life that she deserves. Kudos to the Abbotts!