Church porch and its roof get upgrade back to original design

The historic First Presbyterian Church at 2 North Court St. was completed in 1903, and its church office building, known as the Rufus Putnam House — just around the corner, at 9 North College St. — was completed at about the same time.
But the church office porch, which was enclosed and had a metal roof, had deteriorated over the decades and suffered from leaks. The staircase was also breaking up a bit, said Keith Morrow, a member of the First Presbyterian Church property committee.
“There was no heat or air conditioning, so the space wasn’t very usable,” Morrow said. “It was too hot in the summer and cold in the winter.”
So about a month ago, the congregation leadership decided to take action.
“We decided to put it (the porch) back to the way it was originally,” he said, adding that RVC Architects of Athens took on that task.
The results are striking, and getting positive comments from passersby. A new, unenclosed wooden porch is being constructed, which as of Thursday, had workers from Mike Myers Construction of Athens affixing hearty beadboard under the porch roof framing with nail guns.
The new staircase has also been completed, all except for railing on both sides.
In addition, Myers’ workers soon planned to replace wood beams with white columns that will bring the porch back to its historic look. The brick work of the home is original.
The main church at 2 North Court St. was designed by famed Ohio architect Frank Packard, Morrow said.
The church office building is two stories high, and upstairs, there is an apartment rented by Ohio University students. At one time, the building was used as a funeral home, Morrow said.
First Presbyterian Church owns property along North College Street that includes a parking lot nearby, Morrow said. The church pastor used to live in a home next to the church office building, which was removed years ago. Later, the church sold a sliver of land to the city so the Athens Police Department could reside next door.
The church office building, or Rufus Putnam House, is named for Rufus Putnam, a Revolutionary War officer who served under George Washington, and later, was one of the founders of the Ohio Company of Associates, according to the Ohio History Connection. They later set aside land that would become Ohio University’s main Athens campus.
From The Athens Messenger 
Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A. 
407 N. Howard Avenue
Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606


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