In a harrowing example of conversions gone wrong—or if not wrong at least boring—this stunning landmark church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio seems to have fallen victim to one very unholy makeover. Currently on the market for $439K, the three-bedroom, 2,635-square-foot home looks the same as always from the outside, but offers the dullest, boxiest new interiors imaginable—with a veritable sea of beige walls and oatmeal colored carpeting. Even the massive windows—the crowning glory of most church-to-home conversions—seem to be sporting some sort of weird framing over the lovely original glass. Sure, some of the blame can probably be shifted to the staging, but there’s just no getting around the general awkwardness of the layout.
Here is the problem with claiming that this is a McMansion: typically, the term McMansion is applied to exteriors. In that sense, this home has done everything right. They took an old church, presumably one that was no longer being used as a home for a religious congregation, kept the historic exterior, and only renovated the interior. The home is not ridiculously large; the listing says it is just over 2,600 square feet and the size is masked a bit by the building’s exterior. The church is in an older neighborhood so this renovation avoided either a teardown situation or building another McMansion on the exurban fringe. The home can’t immediately impress the average passer-by, supposedly a key feature for status-hungry McMansion owners, as they would probably think it is a church rather than a home.
Is an interior enough to make this renovated church a McMansion? I think one could complain about the interior design, particularly if it misses an opportunity to take advantage of a unique building, without placing it the category of McMansion which carries with it all sorts of other connotations.