MMC crews have been working to stabilize and clean up the Clayborn Temple from years of neglect and weather exposure after being completely vacant since 1999. This includes pressure washing the entire structure, replacing rotten flooring, adding safety rails, and cleaning and stabilizing much of the interior to make it safe for visitors.
The development group, consisting of Rob Thompson and Frank Smith, will begin having open meetings for the public to come inside the space and learn about the history of the church and suggest ideas for its eventual new purpose, beginning with a blessing ceremony at 4 p.m. Oct. 25. At 6:30 p.m., artists are invited to visit and begin brainstorming as well.
They are working on the project on behalf of Downtown Church, where Frank Smith is a member. The church currently hosts its Sunday service inside Central Station on South Main, but will have to move when the redevelopment of the building begins.
If the Clayborn Temple restoration project is successful, the church will move its congregation to the building as a Sunday tenant. Their desire would be for the space to be used for other purposes the rest of the week.
The goal is to have the project completed by April of 2018, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination.