An English Gothic landmark Tampa (FL) church built in the 1920s has been resurrected as the first permanent home of Holy Trinity Presbyterian (PCA), ending a decade-long quest. The exterior of the impressive red-brick building is relatively unchanged, but improvements within give a fresh look to the 1927 structure.
“It’s come a long way,” Pastor Steve Casselli said during a recent tour of the newly refurbished 36,000-square-foot structure, originally the home of First Christian Church. In the sanctuary, what was old is new again, but with respect for the original architecture and design.
“We tried to preserve the historical beauty but make it as user-friendly as possible, with modern conveniences,” Casselli said. “It’s always going to have some quirks because it is an old building.”
The 82-year-old building also held surprises. “When we pulled up the carpet, we were just astonished at what was underneath,” the pastor said. Uncovered was heart-of-pine flooring which, after being stripped and varnished by experts, probably shines brighter than when installed in 1927.
The original wooden pews were cleaned and refinished, among the projects tackled by the congregation. “Volunteers came in and spent lots of hours working on them,” Casselli said. The sanctuary stage was remodeled using pinewood salvaged when tile was installed in the entrance hall.