Hood Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church to be converted to apartments

THIS IS A RENDERING of the renovated Hood Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence. / COURTESY ZDS ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR DESIGN

PROVIDENCE – The long-vacant Hood Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church will be renovated and converted to apartments, under a proposal approved recently by a city board.

The church, built in 1901, was constructed initially for the Unitarian Church. It features a chapel built of un-coursed rubble stone and several additions.

A development proposal would convert the historical church to 15 apartments, with a common area that could be used by community groups in its Elmwood neighborhood. The apartments will consist of micro-units, studios and one-bedroom apartments, according to a plan submitted by ZDS Architecture & Interior Design, of Providence.

The $2.6 million project to convert the church to a residential and community use required a change in use and a dimensional variance from the Providence Zoning Board of Review. The project gained that approval Sept. 9.

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The church, at 126 Adelaide Ave., is now vacant. Photographs taken as part of the city application show deterioration of the chapel and interior. The renovation will include preservation of several of the stained-glass windows and replacement of the exterior wood clapboards. Several dormers will be added.

The Unitarian congregation that built the church moved to East Greenwich in 1959 and a Swedish-Methodist congregation then occupied the buildings until1977, according to a property history in the 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture. It then was the home for the Hood Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church, a congregation that first met in West Elmwood in the 1860s.

By 2014, the church was vacant and included on the Providence Preservation Society Most Endangered Properties list.

The development group and owner is Bluedog Capital Partners LLC, with an incorporated address of One Custom House St., Providence.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at MacDonald@PBN.com.

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