FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
First United Methodist Church of Palestine was constructed over 100 years ago. Badly in need of repair, a complete historical renovation was a major emphasis of this project. In addition to the renovation, other considerations such a larger lobby, new restrooms, and administration facilities were also included in the planning of this project.
The existing building was renovated from top to bottom, while being especially sensitive to existing architectural detailing and preservation. A top priority was the refurbishment of the original stained glass windows that have held special meaning to all members throughout the last century who have worshipped at First United Methodist and admired these beautiful windows.
Enlarging and updating of lobby areas, while working within code requirements and compliance demanded "outside-the-box" planning so as not to interfere with the existing structure's historically significance architecture. We created a new lobby and entrance which was detached from the existing building, and the existing lobby and entrance were restored to offer a useable ceremonial entrance so as not to distract from the original design intent. Construction scheduling and phasing was also an instrument of design to ensure operations at the church continued uninterrupted throughout the construction project.
The newly-created, detached lobby and fellowship gathering area compliments the existing, older building and offers handicapped access, which was not possible before this renovation. The linear design of the new lobby connects all building components of the complex and acts as a hub for non-worship activities. An eye-catching feature of the new lobby is the glass roof atrium. The lobby also contains a coffee bar, lounge and table seating, covered portico for dropping off passengers in inclement weather, and overflow seating when necessary. The history and the memories of the first 100 years of First United Methodist Church of Palestine successfully coexist in harmony with the technology, growth requirements and membership of the current congregation and will hopefully serve future generations of members for the next 100 years.