Wednesday, March 19, 2008

First Baptist Church

Fenix's post got me thinking about the fire bombings in JP from the past few years, which had me digging out the series of photos I took of the First Baptist Church a while back. The fire here was NOT arson, it was an accident, but took place only a few months prior to the fire bombing at El Oriental de Cuba (see Fenix's post). It was in January, and the church and surrounding area looked almsot fairy tale-esque for quite some time after the fire because all of the water used to fight it had frozen in layers on both the shell of the building and the surround trees/land. Steve Garfield (of Universal Hub fame...and videoblogging fame, for that matter) as some great photos of it here. This was the second fire in this church's history, and they now have their services in a trailer that sits just out of the bottom left of the photo above. There's a lot of info on the fire and the church in the Boston Globe article you can find here. I just realized that I had posted another photo of the same church here. Oops!


George Townboy said...

Very interesting post. Do you know if the church is using the remains of the facade in the new structure?

Cowbark said...

Hey George,

To my knowledge there are no current plans for the rebuilding as they are in need of funds before they can start the process. They rebuilt with the original structure after their first fire, so I'm assuming they would salvage as much as possible. I'll see if I can find some more info, but when I was still living in JP (about 9 months ago now) there were no specific plans for rebuilding.

FĂ©nix - Bostonscapes said...

Thanks for the link, Cowbark.

Looks like it will be rebuilt soon. Here's an excerpt from the FBCIJP website:

"Update-September 2007

On Sunday, Sept 23rd the congregation voted to proceed with the current plan for rebuilding our church home.

In short, last spring we voted to go ahead with phase one of construction (completing the infrastructure and finishing the ground floor for occupancy) at a cost of approximately 3.8 million. However, due to serious price increases, despite the value engineering done by our architect (The Office of Michael Rosenfeld) and contractor (Marc Truant and Assoc.), the cost has risen to approximately 4.4 million to partially complete phase one (infrastructure and partial ground floor occupancy). Additionally we anticipate the need for another $600,000 to complete the first phase. [...]" Read more here.

Cowbark said...

hahaha - I was just thinking "gee, maybe I should check out their website to see if there are any updates on rebuilding..." but didn't have time to before I ran to work this morning. Thanks for checking it out!

It would be great to see them rebuild!