A Church to Call Home

Photograph by William Manning

If Don Hogle looks perfectly at home mixing audio in this Northside church’s sound studio, it’s because he is at home.

This techie-cum-rocker—Hogle founded a local Apple service provider called Elan Technologies and sings and plays guitar for alt-rock band The New Void—bought the church on a whim in 2005. Then a Clifton resident, he stopped by during an auction to check out the pews and windows; he walked away owning the entire 1892 structure.

It took two years and tons of elbow grease to convert the 10,000-square-foot church into a home. Hogle had the basement modified to accommodate a six-car garage, a bathroom, and a small sound studio he calls “Studio B”; he also designed a cool two-bedroom loft-style living space, installed surveillance equipment throughout the property, and wired the place to be a smart home (doors can be locked and opened, and the climate controlled, via smart phone).

He initially converted a sizable chunk of the building’s first floor into Elan’s offices; after the company relocated to Kennedy Heights, he began transforming the rest of that level into a performance and recording venue that musicians can rent. The sanctuary has a working organ, backlit stained glass windows, and an adjoining sound studio.

The sanctuary-cum-recording studio isn’t the only creative reinvention of hallowed space around here; the bell tower has new decking and has been plumbed and wired for a hot tub (although the tub itself was never installed). It also affords 360-degree views of Northside, a place Hogle affectionately tags as home to “a diverse group of individuals” that’s very “community oriented.”

Now Hogle has the property up for sale at $375,000 (the listing’s on 1698chase.com). The recording equipment is available for purchase, too, but Hogle points out that it could just as easily be removed, and the sanctuary space re-purposed. After all, not everybody who’s interested in living in a former church is going to have a recording business on the side.

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