High ceilings are a popular feature in homes nowadays, but how about a home where you can look straight up for 96 feet? Those ultra-high ceilings are available right now to the buyer of this $1.895 million former church in Ventura, CA.
The building's 96-foot-high steeple is just one of the many exceptional features in this landmark Carpenter Gothic-style structure. Its original stained-glass windows, columns, beams, and other ornamentation recall the building's days as St. John's Methodist Episcopal Church, built in the late 1800s on donated land, according to a 2014 article in the Ventura Breeze. The building also once housed the Victorian Rose Wedding Chapel, according to a local tourism website.
"It will take a very unique buyer [because] it's a unique property," notes listing agent Arlene Shatsky.
The current owners have operated a bed and breakfast in the former church since the late 1990s, lovingly restoring the property in the process. The business is not being sold, but new owners could operate their own B&B or use the building for other purposes. (FYI: the B&B currently charges from $99 to $179 a night for a room.)
Showings to date have included someone considering it for law offices and another small business owner, Shatsky notes. The church sits two blocks from downtown Ventura, an oceanfront community roughly 66 miles north of Los Angeles.
"It's in the heart of Ventura and Ventura is really up and coming," Shatsky says. Coincidentally, it's only a block from the locally well-known Rubicon Theater, a stage-play venue that itself is in a converted church.
The 5,307-square-foot B&B is configured with five bedrooms, each with its own fireplace and attached bath. All are on the main level. A fully equipped kitchen and laundry room are in the basement, which also has nine additional office spaces that can be rented out, Shatsky explains.
The former choir loft has been turned into a lounge area, reachable by a spiral staircase from the main floor. The former altar sanctuary area, with its 26-foot-high ceiling, is now used as a breakfast dining space. The main portion of the former church is now a large reception area but could make for a wonderful living area and party room should a new owner decide to live in the structure.
A sixth bedroom is in a 700-square-foot, one-bedroom cottage on the church property that's included in the sale. The current owners live in the quaint cottage while operating the B&B. The pink cottage, originally located elsewhere but moved onto the church grounds, is the oldest house in Ventura, Shatsky says, and could be a potential rental for a new owner.
Everyone wants their home to be a sanctuary, but how often does the chance arise to buy one that once was a sanctuary from earthly toils and trouble? A divine opportunity indeed.