Craft brewery planned for historic Brooklyn church

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Abandoned in 1999, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church is one of the largest buildings still standing in Brooklyn that date back to the Jacksonville neighborhood's days before demolition and gentrification.

Now plans are underway by Bedopas LLC to convert the former sanctuary into one of the city's most interesting craft breweries. 

Located at 301 Spruce Street, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church was built in 1955 by James Edwards Hutchins. Hutchins, one of the few black architects-builders during this era, was commissioned by the church under the leadership of Reverand William Hill. 

After quietly purchasing 11 acres throughout the neighborhood, Bedopas LLC appears to be ready to make the abandoned church the center of its first redevelopment project at the intersection of Spruce and Dora streets.

Plans include the adaptive reuse of the church as a 5,600 square foot brewery with the intent to preserve the building's exterior. A new 5,000 square foot structure would be built to house a restaurant up to 224 seats at Chelsea and Dora streets.

Renderings also illustrate space for a 150 seat beer garden and on-site beer production. Assisted by the Genesis Group (civil engineer), Cronk Duch Architects (architect), Landwise Design (landscape architect) and Urban Partners Construction (general contractor), conceptual development plans for the property were recently shared with the Downtown Development Review Board.

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