Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Church salvage sale includes pews, stained glass windows


While downtown's historic former First Baptist Church awaits partial demolition, one of its stained glass windows is destined to live on in someone's home. Another will illuminate a North Carolina garden. A few will remain with the church's facade, which is not being razed, but many more will find new homes.

St. Peter's Episcopal Cathedral, which owns the old church, is holding a salvage sale Thursday that will include the former Baptist sanctuary's pews, tiles and unique stained glass windows. For obvious reasons, beams and bricks from the 1924 neoclassical revival church will not be available until after demolition. The yellow brick is not for sale but will be recycled into St. Peter's City Peace Garden planned for the site.

Inquiries about the salvage sale are coming from far and near, said Sheree Graves, St. Peter's warden. There is particular interest from St. Peter's parishioners and those who once worshiped in the former Baptist church at 120 Fourth St. N.

"In our experience, individuals who are buying these remnants and relics are people who are interested in historic preservation and people who buy just for the beauty,'' said Jesse White, owner of Sarasota Architectural Salvage, which is handling the sale.

Those thinking about picking up a stained glass window should be prepared to plunk down around $1,000 to $1,800. There are 80 windows. Close to two dozen pews will fetch a more moderate $350 each.

The stained glass windows are unique, White said.

"It's a very interesting style. The glass is a very thick glass, almost an inch thick, and it's fashioned in the Dalle de Verre method. Basically, whereas traditional stained glass uses leading to keep the glass together, this uses a grout-like material. It produces very brilliant colors in the sunlight,'' he said.

Since the windows have no religious imagery, they lend themselves to a variety of settings, White added.

The windows — specially removed from the church by Alafia Architectural Antiques of Lithia — are on display in a storefront at 173 Fourth Ave. NE. The display has attracted a lot of attention and led to early sales, White said.

For shoppers with a smaller budget, Thursday's sale will also offer tiles from the church's basement at $25 each. They come with a fleur-de-lis pattern.

The sale is a one-day event in St. Petersburg. Anything that remains, along with the bricks, beams and other items that will be available after the demolition, will be offered nationally through White's Sarasota shop. A certificate of authenticity will be presented with each sale.

Proceeds from the sale will help St. Peter's develop its City Peace Garden, which will incorporate the columned facade of the old church. The project is a harmonious end to what had been a long-standing battle between the cathedral and preservationists.

Attempts by St. Peter's to sell the old Baptist church had fallen through over the years and efforts to raze it to make room for new development were bitterly opposed by preservationists. Last year the two sides agreed that St. Peter's could save just the facade.

The facade will be transformed into a columbarium and its grounds, open to the public, will include a garden, fountain, gazebo and a small section for cremated pets. Offices and historical records of the former Baptist church will be housed in the basement, while columbarium niches will be placed on the ground floor and mezzanine levels.

The City Peace Garden will be an addition to St. Peter's current $7.5 million expansion and redevelopment project.

Preservationists had asked the cathedral to make a professional archival record of the historic church. Graves said architects are putting together drawings and written and photographic documentation of the building.

The package, which will include floor plans, an architectural description of the building and black and white negatives of its interior and exterior, is being prepared according to a format established by the historic documentation program of the National Parks Department's Historic American Buildings Survey. The documents will be stored in the Library of Congress.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at or (727) 892-2283.

IF you go

A time to buy

Former First Baptist Church salvage sale, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, 173 Fourth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. The event is free, but entry will be first-come, first-served. Call (941) 362-0803. Refreshments, beer and wine will be served.

Church salvage sale includes pews, stained glass windows 06/23/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 4:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Worker fixing cable line in Feather Sound after Hurricane Irma dies after fall from ladder

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — A 53-year-old worker repairing a cable line in the Feather Sound area on Saturday fell from his ladder and died, the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office said.

  2. 5 things under $5 Sept. 21-27: Snooty memorial, free Glazer Museum, actor Jackie Cruz, Talk Like a Pirate Day


    1 Remembering Snooty: This public memorial was postponed by Hurricane Irma, but on Sunday the community gets a chance to honor Snooty, the beloved 69-year-old manatee at Bradenton's South Florida Museum. The museum will be open to the public for free for a day of remembrance from noon to 5 p.m. 201 10th St. W, …

    7/15/2011 - Bradenton, FL - Snooty, the worlds oldest manatee on record, will celebrate his 63rd birthday on Saturday, at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. Staff Photo by JIM HOCKETT
  3. 'Raging Bull' boxer Jake LaMotta dies at 95


    Jake LaMotta, the former champion boxer whose life was immortalized by Robert DeNiro in the 1980 film Raging Bull, died Tuesday at age 95.

    Jake LaMotta and his fiance Denise arrive for the world premier of the critically acclaimed boxing drama "Ring Of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story" at the Beekman Theater in New York in 2005. LaMotta, whose life was depicted in the film "Raging Bull," died Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia. He was 95. [Associated Press]
  4. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]
  5. Neo-Nazi roommate of Tampa Palms murder suspect to plead guilty to federal explosives charges


    TAMPA — Brandon Russell, the neo-Nazi former roommate of double-murder suspect Devon Arthurs, will plead guilty next week to federal explosives charges.