On the Block

Converted churches

Three homes that may answer your prayers.

By Vanessa Parks
September 11, 2011

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964 Washington Street, Gloucester

Square footage > 3,030

Lot size > 11,915 square feet

Bedrooms > 4

Baths > 2 full, 1 half

2011 taxes > $5,713

Last sold for > $18,000 in 1970

> PROS Faith will be needed to see the transformation of this church through to born-again status, as its conversion has begun but is incomplete. Great architectural details are intact, including stained-glass windows with jewel-colored panels (no religious scenes), trusses, massive corbels, and carved doors. The church has a pretty facade, plus a steeple with fish weather vane. Ipswich Bay is visible from the back. Plum Cove Beach is down the street. > CONS Much work is needed, including the creation of a layout that makes sense and a kitchen overhaul. > CONTACT Holly M. Chiancola, Holly C Co. Fine Homes, Gloucester, 978-281-4995,

157 Beale Street, Unit 1, Quincy

Square footage > 1,938

Condo Fee > $223 monthly

Bedrooms > 2

Baths > 2 full, 1 half

2011 taxes > $3,500 estimated

Last sold for > First time on market

> PROS This condo is blessed with natural light, thanks to a massive window original to what was Wollaston Unitarian Church and, later, a Greek Orthodox church. The entry to this unit is the original church entry. A spiral staircase ascends to the church tower, the perfect setting for a home office. The main level is an open living and dining room and kitchen, with cherry cabinets and granite. Bedrooms and laundry are downstairs. There are two parking spaces in the garage. The Red Line isn’t far. > CONS Some of the light fixtures are less than awe-inspiring. > CONTACT Fred Alibrandi, Otis Ahearn Real Estate, Boston, 617-851-8050,

16 Williams Street, Easton

Square footage > 5,582

Lot size > 7,900 square feet

Bedrooms > 4

Baths > 1 full, 2 three-quarter, 1 half

2011 taxes > $6,956

Last sold for > $196,000 in 2005

> PROS Fabulously renovated three years ago, the space is very much a home, but with hints of its Lutheran church origins. The main level in the former nave is wide open but broken into manageable living and dining room spaces by inspired furniture placement. The master bedroom, in a space above where the altar would have been, is framed by gothic doors looking out over the living areas. There are two kitchens, a small one off the dining room and the main one downstairs. > CONS There’s no garage and the yard is tiny. > CONTACT Paul Gustavson, Realty Executives – Boston West Inc., Framingham, 508-254-6069,

Boston real estate listings