In a densely populated area with little available land, a once popular nightclub venue carries its vibe through its new life as Shoreline Church’s home.
Alison S. Istnick · May 13, 2018
The Partins and Live Design crafted a plan to highlight—not hide—the building’s past and, in doing so, hoped to attract people who were uncomfortable visiting a church facility.
“We believe God had us waiting for this building. When Nightown shut down, they locked the doors and left everything as it was. There is a 4,000-square foot attic and it was a treasure trove,” laughs Eric. “We found nearly 10,000 vinyl records, vending ma¬chines left over from the 80s, boxing rings, tattoo chairs and many more unique items.”
According to Garrison, “Starting with an existing structure can either save money, or in some cases, cost more to renovate. Shoreline saved money by preserving much of what already existed. The club’s performance space was ideal for the contemporary worship style of Shoreline Church. The venue today is much like it was in the Nightown days. The original stage is utilized, as well as the balcony on the 3 sides of the worship space. Walls were removed around smaller spaces outside the worship room, converting them into the main lobby, café and group spaces.
Doors that were part of the removed walls became table tops in the café and several doors were reconfigured into the café’s display case. The thousands of 33 LP vinyl re¬cords found in the attic were painted different colors and used to decorate various areas of the church. Eric often described his vision as the ‘House of Blues.’ During the LIVE Session, the church was given the freedom to interact with the design team and communicate their ideas.
“They never tried to tell us why we couldn’t do something,” says Darlene. “Instead, they helped us solve problems so we could achieve the end goal. Today when you walk through Shoreline, it’s unbelievable how close it looks and feels the way it did in the LIVE Session.”
While the overall look of the facility is different, a good number of Nightown’s famous icons serve a similar purpose today. The ex¬posed brick walls, original stage and mezzanine areas serve to capture memories from the past. The two-level worship space seats 420 people on the main floor. The balcony is a comfortable area with casual seating featuring groups of sofas and café tables that offer a direct view of the stage below.