Dormant church building on Linwood being revitalized with new purpose

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A huge church off Linwood Boulevard is getting a new lease on life after closing its doors in the 1970s. The former Linwood Presbyterian Church building has been empty since 1975.

"The building is in good shape for how long it’s been empty," said architect Jim Scott of Scott Associates.

Though the congregation moved on, the building was not forgotten. Now a $10 million-dollar project will convert the historic church into a neighborhood services complex.

"It was a good service to the community. It was a beautiful building and it was too good to tear down," said Margaret May, the executive director of the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council.

A quick walk through the church and the splendor of the building will leave you in awe. The building is a strong structure and remnants of history still ring through the hallways.

"There’s a lot of infrastructure here, a lot of strength in this community and we are building on that momentum," said David Warm of Linwood Properties Inc., who has been fighting to save this building for the past 19 years.

The church and adjacent building – The Harold Thomas Center – will be redeveloped into clinics, offices, and program space. Agencies like ReDiscover and Heartland Presbytery will be headquartered there.

"This is the fourth time that we thought we were going to be able to do something. And this was something like, if we didn’t get it done this time, we would ultimately have torn the building down," said May.

For many, this was a pipe dream 19 years in the making. The project will hopefully be completed in a year.

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