Greenville, SC


15,000 SF Renovation

72,000 SF Addition

First Presbyterian Church has been a vital part of downtown Greenville for over 175 years and continues to positively impact its future. An internal capital campaign named Transforming the Heart of the City provided the impetus for the church to expand its urban campus into a community engagement center. Over the course of a decade, the underlying strategic planning process engaged the church’s leaders, city officials, and members of the local arts community to envision FPC’s continuing role in a healthy and vibrant city.

The bell tower of the church’s historic sanctuary provides a strong eastern connection to Main Street while the newly designed addition forms a gateway into the urban core from the west.  With copper-tone cornices, layered stucco, and transparent facades, the building welcomes those approaching downtown from the west.  A generous urban plaza offers shade and tranquility in the center of the city and serves as the primary entrance to the church’s facilities.  An independently operated coffee shop with a gentle water feature welcomes the public into a relaxing contemporary lounge. Nearby, light-filled youth lounges, a tiered meeting room, and the second-level Graham Gymnasium animate the West Washington Street façade and showcase the active ministries of the church.

Large, daylit gathering spaces connect new and historic spaces within the campus and are adorned with the work of local artists and examples of the church’s mission work throughout the world.  The adjacent Lenz Art Gallery provides a museum-quality setting that aims to demonstrate the significance of Christian art in the cultural dialogue.

The expansion’s centerpiece is the new Arts Center, a 1000-seat performing space designed for worship, drama, music, dance, and large gatherings. With an ample stage, a well-designed acoustic environment, and a vast array of lighting and audio-visual features, its warm and inviting interior will engage the community with a variety of performance styles.

For over 30 years Craig Gaulden Davis has served as the Architect for First Presbyterian Church Greenville, constructed in 1851 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.