New Project: Double Preservation Win in Gladwyne Means Church Conversion

Two 19th-century properties on Righters Mill Road will be restored and reused.

The former United Methodist Church of Narberth is just one of a few church buildings slated for residential conversion. Photo credit: Laura Kicey

Over the years, Main Line reBuild, a development partnership consisting of developers Mac Brand, Tom Harvey, and Scott Brehman, has established itself as a stalwart of preservation, “flipping” neighborhood landmarks without compromising their historical integrity.

Among said conversion projects are the former United Methodist Church of Narberth (soon to be condo apartments with lower-level parking), the First Baptist Church of Ardmore (a plan still in the works, but which may include “elevator-capable condo units,” reports), and now, the Gladwyne Methodist Church and Odd Fellows Hall.

Aiding the preservation and conversion of the two latter properties is a recent zoning code amendment, which the Main Line Times’ Cheryl Allison says allows for the residential conversion of these buildings with “provisions for historic preservation.”

Plans for Gladwyne Commons, as the two buildings will be called, mention converting the church into two living units and renovating the parsonage into a twin house. The proposal, which received a 12-0 vote on Monday when it went before the Lower Merion commissioners board, also included its cemeteries:

Two new single-family homes are to be built flanking Odd Fellows Hall. A separate lot containing both cemeteries will be created, and a new non-profit entity will be formed to manage perpetual care of the graveyards, where many members of early families of Merion Square, as the community was originally known, are buried.

Gladwyne’s historic Odd Fellows Hall, Methodist church to live on [Main Line Times]

The business of selling off old churches []