Partial demolition of downtown St. Petersburg's historic former First Baptist Church has begun. The back two-thirds of the structure at 120 Fourth St. N, across from Williams Park, will disappear. The facade, with its 30-foot-high Greek revival columns, is being preserved. The 40-foot-deep section of the sanctuary being saved will include the sidewalls, roof and the stair towers that rise into the balcony. The preserved structure will find new life as a columbarium. Its grounds will include a garden, fountain, gazebo and a small section for cremated pets. Neighboring St. Peter's Episcopal Cathedral, owner of the property since 1990, has agreed to a request by preservationists that a professional archival record be made of the sanctuary. The records will be stored in the Library of Congress. Some of the former Baptist church's stained glass windows will be sold between 4 and 7 p.m. on Sept. 24 at 300 Beach Drive NE, Suite 111.
A bit of history reshaped
© 2013 Tampa Bay Times