Phase II Coffeehouse and Exterior Renovations

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Foundry is a beautiful building in an active neighborhood. Anyone driving or walking by sees a majestic structure. Yet, the building can look formidable so that a person might feel reluctant to check out Foundry’s worship and fellowship experience despite the church’s welcoming signs inviting everyone in. A passerby may also not associate the church with the surrounding community of which it is a part.

Mission Possible Phase II includes renovations on Foundry’s exterior to further display our radical hospitality and the initiation of a new space to facilitate conversation with community neighbors over coffee and food.

Exterior Renovations 

Main DoorsRefurbishing the church’s outer doors is an important part of exterior renovation. Although the doors have inherent beauty and are historic, they are showing significant wear and tear. Refurbishment will restore the doors’ original beauty and eliminate issues associated with age that can prevent them from working properly.

A second restoration also involves an entryway, but this time from the sky. The Columbarium’s skylight has a leak and needs to be upgraded. Just as the hymn lifts up, “For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies,” we want to bring that glory into the Columbarium. In so doing we honor whose who are at eternal rest in our church with a properly cared for space.

June, 2018 Update: The Columbarium re-opened on June 17, after undergoing repairs. A new skylight was built to replace the older one which was irreparably damaged by weather and leaks. The walls of the Columbarium have been cleaned and every effort has been made to remove water stains sustained from the leaks. "It was our goal to ensure the integrity of our sacred, serene, and peaceful space loved by so many," said Lani Willbanks, chuch business administrator. "We are glad to once again, pay homage and respect to the faithful individuals and families in our Columbarium."

A third part of the exterior improvements involves new landscaping. Upgrades to the front and side grounds of the church will not only be environmentally sound but also more aesthetically pleasing and inviting. The grounds can be enjoyed by those coming to church and also those walking by. And, we have an idea of another way to invite in those walking by. 

Coffeehouse Ministry 

In the Dupont Circle/Logan Circle area 33% of residents commute to work by public transportation, and 37% walk to work.  Residents walk down 16th Street and across P Street, many to the Dupont Circle Metro. Other people pass Foundry on the way to commercial stores near and on 14th Street and in Dupont Circle. Foundry is considering a new way to invite these people, and others, into our building.

A new use of the area currently occupied by the Davenport Center will be a coffeehouse ministry site. This gathering space can offer a tenant-supplied source of coffee and food and a Foundry-supplied source of intriguing programming, such as live music, book reviews, Bible studies, speakers, and discussions.  

Foundry commissioned a feasibility study to analyze potential users, assess architectural needs, and envision potential scenarios. The study includes a design feasibility, looking at existing conditions, market context, trade areas, demographics, demand, and many other considerations as Foundry plans this new kind of hospitality. 

The study foresees the coffeehouse as an “opportunity for mission-related church functions to be visible but not imposed on retail patrons.” This space can welcome those in the community who, as Pastor Ginger Gaines-Cirelli describes them, “are spiritual but may not consider themselves religious. It will be a space for people in our community to engage in storytelling, group discussions, and new and alternative ways of worship.” 

UnionDallas.orgFoundry’s Management Board, the Mission Possible Phase II Team, and Foundry staff are excited about the development of a coffee house ministry. A partnership with a coffee house operator aligned with Foundry’s goals for the endeavor is essential to the initiative.  Understanding potential customers and balancing costs and revenue will influence decisions as development of the new ministry proceeds. 

It is clear, however, that the coffeehouse can connect Foundry more easily with the immediate community. Foundry members enjoying the coffee house will be able to interact with community members not there for church functions. Announcements of Foundry events can be available, and programming that appeals to community members can be offered. The flow of traffic will signal to all those passing by that Foundry is a welcoming place, and the coffee and interactions inside will confirm that fact. 

Pastor Ginger identifies an improved external environment and a new comfortable place for conversation and learning as means for community members “ to glimpse the vibrancy of Foundry.”  Mission Possible Phase II will contribute to that glimpse and provide an invitation for connection.

Coffee House Plans