A Google search for 30 E. Norwich Ave. will take you to St. Juniper’s Temple, a tall brick church complete with a bell tower, stained-glass windows and a large arched wood door.
But don’t expect to see church pews when you walk in.
The 2,366 square-foot church sanctuary now houses four Ohio State students after a renovation by Buckeye Real Estate.
The same grand entrance still acts as a front door that opens into a large breezeway and expands into a sizable room with tall, vaulted ceilings. In the center of the room is a full kitchen with appliances and a bar-style counter.
Danny Collins, a fifth-year in aviation, has lived in the house since August and said there are many reasons why he likes living in the old church.
“Space,” Collins said, “and the wow factor when someone comes in for the first time. They’re just blown away by it. It’s a cool conversation starter.”
With the substantial space, the roommates have been able to furnish the house with five couches, multiple tables, a Christmas tree — which sits beside a stained-glass window and has yet to be taken down — and a pool table that Collins said was left behind by the previous renters.
The house has no traditional upstairs but there is a staircase on each side of the main room that lead to two bedrooms. One bedroom used to be a way to get into the bell tower but has now been boarded up to prevent people from going up.
With all the floorspace in the main room, Collins and his roommates use different methods to get around the house — his choice being a scooter.
“[St. Juniper’s Temple] still exists on Google so you can review our home,” said Will Mather, Collins’ roommate and a fourth-year in environmental science. “There are reviews on there from a couple months ago.”
The house currently has five stars.
Collins and his roommates live in the former sanctuary but there also is an addition to the church that has five separate, renovated units.
Bob Mickley, the property manager at Buckeye Real Estate, said the company bought the building from St. Juniper’s Temple when it relocated. He said the renovations took around a year to complete because of its distinct design.
“When you renovate a -and-something year-old church it has some different twists, and that was exciting for all of us,” Mickley said.
The floor plan was created by Wayne Garland, the president of Buckeye Real Estate, and his recently deceased friend and architect, Mickley said.
“We are very proud of that job,” he said. “We tore down a very ugly ‘60s-style addition on the north side and added parking … and were able to create nice and unique units inside of it.”
Julie Hutchinson, Buckeye Real Estate’s leasing manager, said the company has not had to find new lessees for the property since the church was first put on the market in 2013.
“We have not yet had to rent it because the residents who originally moved in there when it was first finished have renewed and changed roommates year after year,” Hutchinson said.
The four-bedroom and three-and-a-half-bath home is currently listed at $3,000 per month on the Buckeye Real Estate website. However, the group has already re-signed the lease for next year.
Collins, who calls his house “the best-kept secret on campus,” said even after he graduates, he would like to continue living there.
“It’s amazing,” Collins said. “You wake up in the morning and you open your door and it’s just like ‘Oh my God, I do live here.’”