The old stone Methodist-Episcopal church on the corner of U.S. 23 and State Route 315 has been caught in the middle of the Stratford Road construction project since April.
Before owner architect Dave Kerr can get his own contractors to start work on the building, the Ohio Department of Transportation has to finish the Stratford Road project started in April.
Kerr purchased the property over a year ago with the plans of renovation for his firm’s office. “We’re in the process of getting our approvals,” Kerr said. “We’re excited to get into the the building.”
The Stratford project is to realign the intersection of U.S. 23 and State Route 315. “It’s better for safety to have the intersection aligned,” said Nancy Burton, public information officer for ODOT. “The project is scheduled to be completed by October.”
Burton said that by the completion of the project a new road, Meeker Way, will connect Stratford Road with U.S. 23 with a new traffic signal.
Route 315 will have two dedicated left-turn lanes onto U.S. 23 north plus two new access points to Stratford Road.
Southbound U.S. 23 traffic will have a dedicated right-turn lane onto south Route 315.
Kerr said the building never had utilities and hasn’t been taken care of since 1958. “It’s really just four stone walls and a roof,” Kerr said.
Kerr said he understands the significance of the old church to the area. “It was dedicated in 1844,” he said.
He said there are still people in the area who remember attending services in the church in the 1950s. “We want to continue to get their support,” Kerr said.
Kerr said he is looking to restore the building’s exterior to match the original look of the building. As for the interior, he has plans to be more creative. “We’re hoping to showcase our talents to our clients,” he said.
The building is listed on the National Register of Historical Sites.
According to Sue Bauer, a volunteer for the Delaware Historical Society, it was last used as a church in 1958, then sold in 1960 to a private owner. Over the years, it’s been bought and sold many times to be used as many different things. It had been used as a house and lived in for a time. “Various owners had plans to renovate and use it,” she said. “I think it was a shop at one time.”
Kerr’s firm is currently housed on State Route 315 just north of Interstate 270 in Columbus. He said he has been an architect in the area for 20 years and has owned his own firm for the last five years.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.