1899 Church – Bartlett, TX

Added to OHD on 9/26/11   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   Comments Closed
SOLD / Archived Post

346 Pietzsch St, Bartlett, TX 76511

Maps: Street | Aerial

  • 1 Bath
  • 1424 Sq Ft
  • 0.24 Ac.
Rare piece of history in this former Presbyterian Church with historic marker. Needs lots of TLC, sold as is. Would be a wonderful home or wedding chapel. Also for sale across the street is 341 Pietzsch- old Victorian featured in recent Hollywood movie. Both could be works of pride with restoration. Bartletts brick streets bring back time & would be great antique business opportunity with wedding chapel & victoria home. Just short drive to Salado, Georgetown, Austin.
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37 Comments on 1899 Church – Bartlett, TX

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  1. John Shiflet says: 5480 comments

    Hard to tell if people in this extended recession are “losing their religion” in large numbers, but its almost a documented fact that the number of abandoned, neglected, and under-utilized church buildings across the U.S. is at an all-time high right now. This is especially true in former industrial towns and cities in the Midwest where aging congregations and population shifts have deprived churches of the resources to sustain them. I recall a very similar but beautiful smaller Victorian era church in an almost ghost town east of St. Joseph, MO. Another larger than the one featured here and of a similar age exists in a small faded community northwest of Fort Worth, TX. Speaking of which, some resourceful Presbyterians in Fort Worth rather than building a new sanctuary, had a c. 1904 similar church building moved and re-assembled at their in-town site a couple of decades ago. The nicely restored period structure continues to be used for its services and weddings to this day. Churches can also be repurposed as residences, but they take imagination and considerable resources to do so. Some artists have also made old church structures into studios. Not likely that so many people have lost their faith as much as “mega-churches” in Suburbia have siphoned off a lot of small church memberships, especially from many older inner-city areas. This one looks relatively intact although the steeple seems to have a tilt and probably needs structural attention. As mentioned, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of old churches across the U.S. crying out for new owners and TLC. They need to be on Historic Preservation’s highly endangered list.

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    • MaitlynK says: 1 comments

      Hi John. Do you have any updates on the church? I just came across this listing and fell in love.

  2. John Shiflet says: 5480 comments

    Addendum: Bartlett is the quintessential “small town” Texas. Like small rural communities across the U.S. it is struggling to keep up with the times and the challenging economy. Since most of Texas was settled before the end of the Victorian era, almost every faded farming community has a number of neglected or long abandoned Victorian houses. Some have been bought and horribly remuddled by naive new owners robbing them of all historic character while others have been sensitively restored to period perfection. Others sit long abandoned with the sands of time working against their odds of survival. The streetview tour of Bartlett shows many interesting details in this former church centered neighborhood. There were probably dozens of old houses standing around here at one time and a few still survive. The vernacular Queen Anne style large house across from the church still has remnants of an old concrete sidewalk in front of it which seems almost incredible while looking at the scenery today. Too bad so much of the old neighborhood is missing here but that reality can be seen in small communities in almost countless places across the nation. I recall visiting tiny Rulo, Nebraska which is down now to a couple of dozen people and a few old residences and interesting old buildings (including a very interesting c. 1880 large brick hotel if it has not been demolished by now) . What used to be the main street in Rulo is paved with curbing but weeds grow through the pavement now and sidewalks go up the sides of this street with long abandoned and overgrown with trees vacant lots. Another simlar town is Fillmore, MO also disappearing fast. Much of what remains of these very faded communities will likely disappear completely within a generation from now so if you like to travel, please take some time to go off the beaten path and go visit these places while they are still around, there’s always something interesting to photograph and sometimes a few very pleasant surprises for old house lovers.

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  3. John Shiflet says: 5480 comments

    Just uploaded to my Flickr album some photos of Bartlett TX including some detailed images of this church. It’s a town stuck in time but very much off the beaten path. The former Baptist Church is unbelievably intact and original but needs tons of TLC. Owner is a nice guy and the realtor is pleasant very and knowledgeable. Here’s the Bartlett photo set (includes the house at 341 W. Pietzsch on the OHD site) taken Sat. Oct. 1, 2011: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11236515@N05/sets/72157627804861346/

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    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 903 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Wow! What an amazing town! I think I’m more in love with Bartlett now than any other Texas town I’ve seen so far. I love these kind of forgotten towns, where it looks like people just up and most of the architecture is left untouched. If I were a millionaire, this is the kind of town where I would just buy as many structures as I could, just to restore them and keep them safe. Beautiful!

      Thanks so much for sharing. You should also post the link over on the Facebook page for others to see.

      • John Shiflet says: 5480 comments

        Got an email from the realtor this AM. (Oct. 4, 2011) she said the owner’s going to lower the selling price on the church and on the house across the street-so an even better deal is pending.

  4. kat says: 1 comments

    My great grandfather was a preacher in this church.. it had the most beautiful pews, each carved differently. It’s so sad to see how the town fall apart.

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  5. Carrie Beamer says: 1 comments

    This is so sad for any investor that would consider restoring a historical property and growing the town.

    • dreya924 says: 1 comments

      Carrie, don’t believe everything you read online 😉 I have heard some of the same ‘rumors’ about Bartlett, but if they were ever true, they aren’t now. I have found the city to be very welcoming and the people very friendly. It has a gem of a downtown and lots of neat old houses. My family and I are considering moving here.

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  6. rob says: 4 comments

    Kat, not to worry…I recently purchased this beautiful church and hope to restore…..I’m certain your great grandfathers love and guidance remain in the church…..Sure would like to exchange info with you….Thanks, Rob

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    • Cara Taylor says: 1 comments

      That is wonderful you are going to restore this lovely church. I looked at it when it was for sale plus the house just across the street. There was a great horned owl trapped in the church and my friend and I spent about an hour trying to get her out. She finally flew out the door and the crows made a huge fuss once she landed in the tree across the street. 🙂

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    • Kristo says: 1 comments

      What happened?

  7. david hart says: 1 comments

    Wow, so how is the progress going- do you post any pictures anywhere? Sorry, I am presuming you have begun restoration, it sounds like a fun project!

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  8. Rob Riojas says: 4 comments

    David H…….many thanks for your comments……No actual restoration has yet to begin….I purchased the property to keep it intact before any future damage might occur…..I recently “winterized” the roof to prevent any outside damage to occur during the harsh winter months…….a “retirement” project…..full time on east coast, hoping to return to nearby family in a few years…..and the peaceful locale offered by this historical Church……again, thanks….Rob

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  9. Hello Mr. Riojas. My name is Stuart and I am scouting for a location for a scene in a short film I am working on. Your beautiful church would be perfect. It would be a very short shoot (2 days) and would mostly be outside and in the doorway of the church. We would be looking to shoot this summer or early fall. Let me know if you would be interested, thank you very much for your time. Stuart

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    • Rob Riojas says: 4 comments

      Thanks, Stuart….I’m not sure if you will get this msg., but feel free to contact me directly at….riophilly@comcast.net….The Church does, indeed lend itself to great photo shoots…..it was recently used during the filming of the TV series “Revolution”……Thanks for noticing an architectural gem, Rob Riojas

      • Holly says: 1 comments

        Hello Rob,
        Just curious if there are any updates on the church. I went by not long ago and loved it. Would it be possible to go inside to photograph?
        Thanks,
        Holly

        2
  10. Pastor Ronnie Crankshaw says: 1 comments

    i would like to talk about this church property.Bartlett looks like city to retire in.

    • AudreyAudrey says: 105 comments

      This church is not currently on the market. If you are series about Bartlett & restoring a church, there (hopefully) is another GRAND and much larger church one block down on Pietzsch. It was inches from demolition/deconstruction just over a year ago, and many people, myself included, rallied to save it then. Unless I just haven’t heard, it is still standing (I’ve moved far from the area). The best Bartlett contact you could have, both for info on the other church, as well as available historic properties, is Realtor Gina Groves. She is awesome & very passionate about saving Bartletts historic treasures. Best of luck! Bartlett is a charming town.

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  11. lynda says: 1 comments

    Can this be used for a small wedding ceremony? ???

    • rob riojas says: 4 comments

      Lynda, thanks for the interest in this small, historic church……it would be a wonderful locale for a small ceremony….However, utilities are not connected, and renovation (besides leveling) has not begun….If you are local and in need of photo locale, let me know….Best wishes, Rob

  12. marian Ritchie says: 1 comments

    I have been watching this old church for over 5 years now. I’m really interested in just how you winterized the roof. Details please. I’m also wondering exactly when you plan on starting the renovation process.

    Oh how I wanted to buy this place 5-6 years ago. My husband didn’t have the same feelings about it as I did. He said although it’s beautiful it would be a money pit for us. I’m thrilled someone loves it as much as I do and is planning on doing something with it!

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  13. Betty Saenz says: 1 comments

    Can’t wait to see it restored!! I love Bartlett! I am a Certified Historic House Specialist REALTOR® and I just love saving precious buildings like this! I saved an 1866 landmark house in Leander called the A.S. Mason house on Bagdad across from Robin Bledsoe Park. It was a dogtrot originally and then added on to. Buyer is doing an excellent job rehabbing it.

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  14. Shubes says: 2 comments

    Found this old Presbyterian church today as my wife, daughter, and I were “taking the back way” from Jarrell to Centerville via a lot of winding County Roads. What an awesome afternoon! Even my 18-year old “teenager” daughter was having a blast finding these old places. However, I can’t find ANYTHING about the old abandoned church just up the street (corner of Pietzsch & Alamo), no matter how hard I dig. I see a lot of photos about it, but no one seems to know what sort of church (denomination) it was, when it was founded, or anything. Since I stumbled on this site, I’m hoping some of you good folks that know a bit about Bartlett might have some info on it?

    • AudreyAudrey says: 105 comments

      That is the historic First Christian Church. It was previously tied up in a crazy mess where the former secretary’s children tried to claim ownership by paying the taxes since no one else was and just saying for many years that they owned it, even though there was no real owner after the church disbanded in the 90s. They then ‘sold’ it to Revival, a business in Bee Cave who removed all of the priceless curved pews that were made especially for the semicircular and slanted sanctuary. They were then issued a demo permit to ‘deconstruct’ the church and ‘store’ it for reuse in some faux Historic-land they have planned for their business. I heard of their plans while passing through much as you did, and stopping to talk to some guys putting up caution tape. I was alarmed and talked to an awesome local realtor and long story short, we, along with the community support, saved the church! It was recently sold at a tax sale and a start up church bought it. The local realtor keeps me up to speed, but she wasn’t sure their plans for it.
      It certainly is amazing! The though of losing it filled me with panic and I did everything in my power for weeks on end to stop its distruction! I don’t know what it was about Pietzsch Street, but it really spoke to me. I have a bunch of amazing interior photos, but I’d have to find them lol

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  15. Steve Shubert says: 2 comments

    Audrey, thank you SO MUCH! for the reply and the history of the place. The “For Sale” sign was still on the building when we went by there (on Monday), but maybe it’s just “left over” from the previous sale? As I am a minister myself (Pentecostal), it breaks my heart to see ANY church left abandoned and empty like that; when we drove past it, our 18-yr daughter commented, “Hey look, Dad! There’s a church already built for you! And it’s for sale!” LOL

    I doubt we’ll be moving to Bartlett to start a church anytime soon, but hey…with God, all things are possible, right? 🙂

    Thank you again for taking time to reply, and if you ever uncover those photos of the interior, I’d love to see them!

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  16. AudreyAudrey says: 105 comments

    Found them! https://1drv.ms/f/s!AspJQTSSJFVogx4weNl10HEh_nW6
    Thought I took more… Gina Groves is the local Realtor so passionate about Bartlett’s historic resources. She was with me on the photoshoot and took a lot of photos, too. I haven’t heard from her in a few months when the church was sold. She’d be the one to ask. It’s very possible it’s for sale again. It’s a huge project but will be SO worth it!!

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    • rsellman says: 1 comments

      Audry, What is the current status of this church? Is it still “viewable”? Is this the only one in Bartlett?

      • AudreyAudrey says: 105 comments

        I am not sure of the current status of the Presbyterian Church. The First Christian Church has sold.

  17. Jamie says: 1 comments

    Any updates on the First Christian Church in Bartlett? I saw it’s been worked on and getting restored. Awesome! My grandparents lived in the two story house next to it. I would spend summers there, and we would run to the church and peep in the keyhole to see the glass stained windows glowing. My family’s restraunt, Lois&Jerry’s, is still located on Main St. Odd hours but a good place to eat! I would love to restore many homes & buildings here.

    • WESTBELLst says: 2 comments

      I’ve driven by several times this month, the renovations are coming along great! For some reason, I thought the two-story house was right next door was part of the same property since in so close proximity. I think the dumpster they are using for renovation is even parked in their front yard. Maybe I am thinking of the wrong house?

      • AudreyAudrey says: 105 comments

        The two story house next door to the former first Christian Church was the original parsonage. The properties have since been split up.

    • AudreyAudrey says: 105 comments

      Jamie, it is being restored by a savior of a woman putting her heart an soul into the project! Once complete, she plans to sell it as a huge one bedroom residential home.

  18. WESTBELLst says: 2 comments

    Does anyone know where I can get information on some of the other older homes in the area? I’ve done some preliminary research an found out our house and the house across the street was build in the year 1900 just at the end of the Victoria period. We just moved to Bartlet and don’t know anyone but would like to know where we could find information on who was the original owner of our home. We found an old map online with land and a few homes mapped out near the First Baptist church but no indication of who the settlers were specifically to these houses. The houses are in close proximity to the Church so we are hoping that there is some relation we can track.

  19. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11799 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Back on the market:

    https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2019/06/24/1899-church-bartlett-tx-2/

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