If you're looking for a new place to shop or you just want an alternative to the mall, there's a new, old place you can visit.
It's White Hall Village in Downtown Grand Junction and locally owned stores have been opening in the old church building while the sanctuary is being used for local events.
11 Today Reporter Lisa McDivitt has more on this historic site.
The Sanctuary at White Hall was used by the First United Presbyterian Church until 1993.
Then it was on the edge of being torn down when it got new life.
Kata Tagan-Fisk, co-owner of Heart of the Dragon says, “White Hall is an amazing, amazing building. It's a community landmark."
She found a new home for her shop in White Hall a building that has faced fires and demolition numerous times during its century in Downtown Grand Junction.
"A few years ago it was almost torn down and turned into a parking lot," she says.
But now it's been revived as White Hall Village – a collection of locally–owned shops that offer handmade goods you won't find anywhere else.
Renaissance costumes in the Heart of the Dragon, therapeutic magnetic jewelry from Vital Wonders, Celtic skirts, handmade jewelry and pirate paraphernalia from Wandering Gypsy and alternative books, magazines and music from Confluence Books.
But even though these businesses have been popping up here over the past 10 months, the future of the building is still uncertain…. a pattern that has repeated itself over the past 100 years.
Home to the first Presbyterian Church of Grand Junction, the original church structure was lost in a fire in 1890.
A new, larger church was built in its place for $3,340 in 1900.
Seventeen years later, that building was gutted by another fire. The congregation made do until a new building officially went up in 1928, and it was used until 1993.
By then, the church had moved into a new, modern building in northern Grand Junction.
For the next decade, White Hall was used sporadically for offices, classes, and community functions.
In 2006, a tear–down seemed inevitable.
So Kata and her husband, Michael, leased the building last September, and began renting out the offices to other local shop–owners.
Laurel Ripple, co-owner of Confluence Books says, "It provides a chance to get to know the people who are making the things they're selling. It's really a community, and it's part of the downtown community."
And Donna ‘Moe’ Holland, owner of Moe Ping’s Cool Things says, "I love this building. It's been sitting empty for years, and it's been calling out – it needs some TLC."
Vital Wonders Owner Kim Dijulio says, "The minute I walked in, I had a very safe feeling. And I just felt it was destiny."
Their vision is to create a Renaissance Village vibe, where customers can stroll through muraled hallways on their way to visit the merchants.
"Part of the idea of this building is to open it back up to the public, because it's been closed for quite some time," Kata says.
But unless Kata and her husband can exercise their option to buy the building, someone else could still come along who might not share the same love of a local landmark.
"It needs some love and some life and some light. And some interest in it, and I think once again it can be what it once was,” she adds.
Kata and Michael have been using this sanctuary for local community events including an event where teens can take the stage for a chance to perform for their friends.
If you thought some of those items you saw, like the jewelry, look good you can also find them throughout the summer at the Downtown Farmer's Market Festival. Look for their booth, it’s called the White Hall Village.
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