July/August 2023 current activity update
Reconstruction of the roof by the south and north towers is being completed, to replace worn-out framing and sheathing. This is preparatory work for new finish roofing on those areas.
Also on the building exterior, our CCC order of long life vinyl scallop shakes has arrived. This scallop siding color was matched to the color of original cedar shake siding, a portion of which was uncovered during building reconstruction. The intention is restoring the building exterior to its 1915 period look and color scheme.
April/May 2023 update
Interior: Carpentry, electrical, and plumbing crews have been at work, framing the new spaces and upgrading the electrical supply and lighting. This work will provide necessary service spaces at the rear of the auditorium, and create the renovated entries into the building. As systems are updated, fixtures are either renovated for reuse or new fixtures in 1915 style are installed. It's wonderful to see the interior become a renovated, usable space.
Exterior: The siding crew removed stucco from the upper half of the auditorium exterior walls, and installed building wrap and flashing. This work will complete with installation of long life vinyl scallop shakes, restoring the building's facade to its 1915 period look and color.
Plus: The April work revealed wonderful surprises for the goal of historic Como preservation! Our preservation architect, CCC team, and Como neighbors were gathered around below as the exterior crew began stucco removal. Within an hour, we were all thrilled to see original Charles Sedgwick 1886 decorative details reappear as the stucco coating was carefully removed. These are original, 135-year-old building details that have not been seen since the 1950s. Across the front of the building, a large decorative band of rounded and geometric shapes was uncovered below the gable. Soon after, these crew uncovered matched half-round and diagonal ornament panels, and a full width repeating pattern decor band, on the sides of the south tower. These striking design elements by Minneapolis master architect Sedgwick are now going to be restored and repainted -- they will add even more eye catching and pleasing visual interest and beauty to the restored Como Community Center facade for Como folk to enjoy!
Visiting CCC in May: Over 150 visitors from Como and beyond came by to visit the CCC during our participation in the Rethos / Preserve MN "Doors Open" event on May 13-14. Memories, shared information about the building and its history, donations, and project assistance -- all came our way, so our thanks to all our weekend visitors and event volunteers. The Rethos event info page is here.
November 2022 update
the Como Community Center nonprofit organization has now obtained ownership of the main auditorium front section of the historic Congregational building! This important milestone assures that the building will be preserved for the future. It opens the way to launch rehabilitation work projects for the building.
on the day when ownership was transferred, contractors began installing a new heating system in the auditorium section of the building
other rehabilitation work begins soon on other building systems: electrical, water and rest rooms, lighting, building exterior facade
Community meetings to communicate about the project are ongoing. To receive updates about upcoming project status, upcoming meeting invitations, and other notifications please contact us us at Info@ComoCommunityCenter.org .
Elsewhere on the project, fundraising and grant research and writing efforts continue. Neighbor donations for Como Community Center have begun, reaching over $140,000. This is a good start but much more funding is needed to complete the building renovation and begin operation. The CCC team is pursuing additional rehabilitation funding from governmental, corporate and private sources -- to realize the mission of bringing this valuable Como resource back into active community use.
We look forward to offering scheduling of public events at the Como Community Center building.