St. Paul's on the Hill, a century-old church in Summit Avenue Minneapolis, Minnesota is on the market for $1.69 million. Biz Journals reported that the 103-year-old church was shut down last year after a major decline in its congregation. Many years ago, however, St. Paul's used to be the gathering place of the city's politicians and wealthiest families.
Former members are hoping for a buyer who would give new life to this meaningful building. After all, it has witnessed thousands of important memories such as baptisms and weddings throughout the years.
"It's an important piece of the fabric of the community," Jay Nord, the real estate agent handling the sale, told Twin Cities Pioneer Press. "It needs to be appropriately repurposed."
Built in 1913 by Emmanuel Masqueray, the church building has a 9,000-square-foot sanctuary, 60-foot cathedral ceiling, a large rose window, and 33 stained-glass windows. The property also includes an additional 11,000 square feet of space used by the church as offices, classrooms, meeting rooms and kitchen.
One of the building's greatest features is its impeccable acoustics.
"The place is a dream," Kim Sueoka, a soprano for The Rose Ensemble, said. Sueoka has performed in the sanctuary many times in the past. "It amplifies and carries the sound so beautifully, a warm, round sound, especially for voices. All the musicians who've ever done something there would hope in some way it will be used as a music venue."
The church's small items such as baptismal founts, vestments, crosses, candlesticks, chalices and paintings will be removed and sold separately. However, larger items will remain with the buyer, such as the statue of St. Paul holding a "sword of the Spirit."
Another item that the buyer will get is the buried body of John Wright, the priest and rector of the church during its construction. Wright died in 1919 and was buried in a crypt under the sanctuary. Since the church is part of a national and city historical preservation district, the building cannot be torn down, and the buried body has to stay with the building.
There is a columbarium within the property, but the real estate agent said that the ashes will be relocated according to the wishes of the families of the deceased.