A Converted Church in New York Gives New Meaning to Open Concept

This converted church takes the idea of open-concept living to a new level. The centerpiece: a 2,000-square-foot former sanctuary area just waiting for transformation into whatever you can dream up!

"This is the original open concept," says listing agent Laurel Guy. "My advice: Just go with it."

So what does "go with it" mean? Guy suggests configuring the wide prayer space for a new, less reverent public use -- as a theater or an indie movie house, as the owner has contemplated.

Given its location on bustling Route 414 in the picturesque Finger Lakes vacation area of upstate New York, it could also be a spot for destination weddings and other events. Bar mitzvahs? Sweet 16 romps? You get the idea.

If this sounds like the answer to your prayers, this former place of worship in Lodi, NY, dating to the 19th century is listed for a mere $229,000.

And if you desire a place of your own without any business angle, "you could create an amazing common living space" in the sanctuary area, says Guy.

"When you walk in, your first word is 'wow,'" Guy says of the original stained-glass windows and tin ceiling in the sanctuary.

The owner has reimagined the rest of the 5,200-square-foot space. There's a dining room with a slate floor just off the sanctuary. The second floor has been transformed into a modern, sleek open space currently used as an art gallery. It could easily be converted into a large master suite or divided into three bedrooms, suggests Guy.

The home has an updated full bath and a half-bath. Kitchen plumbing has been roughed in, awaiting a new homeowner to design an answer-to-all-prayers kitchen.

"If you have a dream of living in an unconventional space and that dream also includes something you'd like to do for the public," this property is ideal for you, Guy says. "This (area) is already a destination point."

Why? The church lies on what's known as the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. The Watkins Glen auto racetrack is about 16 miles to the south, and Cornell University is about 24 miles to the east. And it's also within walking distance of Seneca Lake, the largest of the Finger Lakes, and host to the National Lake Trout Derby. If you're the kind of person who prays to the almighty for a big catch, this might be just the place.