Historic Kalamazoo Church to be Knocked Down for Playground
The First Congregational Church at 302 Academy Street in Kalamazoo has been sitting tall as a feature of Church Square for years, but with the recent renovations made to neighboring Bronson Park, and the church succumbing to disrepair, discussions about what to do with the building have turned toward the natural. The decision has been made to work with the Kalamazoo Nature Center to create a public natural "playscape" for children aged 2 to 10 years old. Rev. Nathan Dannison hopes:
...to create something that is in keeping with the spirit of church square... for public use and public access."
According to an article from MLive, the church would require between $3 million and $5 million to function, once again.
First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo dates back to 1850 and was the first Dutch church in Kalamazoo. It has seen several renovation projects over the years, from new windows and brick veneer in 1910, to a steel ceiling in 1929. Soon it will be demolished an cleared for a May 2021 unveiling of a new, natural play space for children. Bill Rose, former Kalamazoo Nature Center director, said children will be free to play, explore, and just be kids. To learn more about the project, click here.