SSFNC began in the basement of Our Savior's Lutheran Church on Chicago Avenue and 25th Street in 1974. In 1980, we moved into our current home, this beautiful, old Victorian building called the "mansion of the Phillips neighborhood." Built in 1894, the former convent is a showcase for Victorian architecture with natural oak, stained glass windows and warm, inviting spaces.
With any century-old building comes the need for transformation and renovation. In 2001, SSFNC and our community embarked on a capital campaign to allow our agency to remain in this glorious space. Through focus groups with clients, staff, board, and community stakeholders, the decision was made to remain in our building and make the necessary upgrades, as opposed to moving to a new location.
Despite a total cost of almost $2 million in renovations and skyrocketing building costs, we completed fundraising for this project in 2007 and renovations in 2008. Highlights of this major project were:
- Replaced aging roof along with new copper cornice, gutter, and downspout system. Additional roof ventilation was also added to prevent moisture buildup and increase energy efficiency.
- Installed new fire doors to comply with fire code.
- Replaced 60+ year-old boiler and additional hot water heating system components for three of the four floors.
- Installed an elevator and new ground-level entryway, providing access to all levels of the building for persons with physical disabilities.
- Installed and/or modified six bathrooms, including two child-only bathrooms for preschool and toddler-aged children. All bathroom are now ADA compliant.
- Renovation of fourth floor which now provides office and work-space for all direct service and some administrative staff. This move also provided more program and meeting space on the third floor, including a large conference room.