The historic Jerusalem Temple, led by Pastor Randy Craighead, announced last week that the building would undergo a $17.5 million restoration and open as a new worship center for the Church of King in 2019.
Last week, former NBA Hornets owner George Shinn announced a $7.5 million gift toward the restoration.
The building at 1137 St. Charles has been unused for years.
Built in 1918, the Jerusalem Temple building was designed by architect Emile Weil. The Middle Eastern design was inspired by the building’s original owners, the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (more commonly known as the Shriners). The Jerusalem Temple was the site of many debutante parties, medical school events, Mardi Gras balls and Shriner circuses and has a rich history in the New Orleans community.
Construction of the 56,000-square-foot building is projected to begin in October 2018 with services being offered Fall 2019. The building’s renovation will include a first floor foyer area, first floor commons, King’s Kids K-5 area, area for children 3-4 years old, youth area, café, second floor foyer area, second floor commons and state of the art worship center and will be able to accommodate over 4000 people per weekend with multiple services.
Richard Kravet is the architect on the project. F.H. Myers Construction Co., also based in New Orleans, is the general contractor.