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91-year-old Capitol Hill house of worship lives on as At the Church performance space

As one old area church appears destined for demolition at 14th and Spring, a large brick church built in 1925 still sits at the corner of E Olive St. and 13th. But while the building may still look like a church, its function has changed.

The building now hosts congregations of a different sort in its new life as performance venue At The Church. The mysterious venue has been hosting events since at least 2013.

While its ownership declined to be interviewed for this story, according to its website, At the Church is “one of the most unique” venue spaces in Seattle available for live performances and other events. 

11800004_1595208440745559_482897281171722096_nThe Sanctuary, part of an interior restoration of the 91-year-old building, was built with “an intimate musical performance in mind,” according to the website.

Musicians who have performed at the space include keyboardist, guitarist and singer Dan Reed, pianist and singer Brooke Lizotte, and the duo Intisaar with Tess Jubran on guitar and vocals and Natalie Mai Hall on cello. Conveniently enough, At The Church also offers the old congregation’s onsite parking lot.

The At the Church building’s owner is the appropriately named developer Michael Christ of Seco Development, who bough the property in 2008 for a hefty $3.15 million. SECO Development “focuses on the development of exceptional urban sites with emphasis on superior design and construction in each new community it builds,” according to its site. In 2011, planning began for a four-story apartment building at the site that would presumably include demolishing the old church but that project appears to have been put on hold. In September, permitting began on a project to add air conditioning to the old building, an investment that seems to harbinger continued use as a performance space.

The 91-year-old house of worship began life as the Advent Christian Church before eventually serving as Medhane Alem Evangelical Church. The church continues to serve a predominantly East African congregation from its new home on Rainier Ave S.

Last week, CHS reported on the plans for demolition and development at 14th and Spring where the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church has stood for 109 years.

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