190-year-old Troy church gets new life as The 1833, a wedding and event venue

Downtown Troy building was at risk of demolition six years ago; developer Strayer bought and renovated it, calls it a ‘magical place’

TROY — An 1830s church in downtown Troy whose future was uncertain a few years ago has been transformed into The 1833, a wedding and event venue.

The renovation project took nearly three years to complete thanks to many challenges found along the way and the need for extensive custom work. The result is more than satisfying to owner Scott Strayer.

“We ran into quite a bit of extra. This building was savable, but it took a lot of work to get there,” he said.

The former Trinity Episcopal Church at 22 E. Franklin St. was the center of controversy in 2017-18 when its then-owner, the Family Abuse Shelter, whose shelter was located next door to the west, was looking to expand and considered removal among options.

A group of local historical organizations calling themselves the Unity for Trinity Committee, along with others interested in preserving and finding new uses for the church, said it was one of the five oldest structures in town.

Future U.S. President William Henry Harrison gave a speech from the church steps in 1837 during the Miami Erie Canal dedication, and the building also had ties to the area’s Underground Railroad system, preservation supporters argued.

Strayer bought the building in 2020. " I couldn’t pass it up,” he said. At the time, Strayer had been looking at buildings across the county that might accommodate his concept of having a wedding venue with a boutique hotel.

“When this came up as an opportunity, this was the magical place,” Strayer said. “This was the oldest church in Miami County, is (in) downtown Troy, there’s so many great things about downtown. The downtown is the lifeblood of Troy; it is a really cool spot,” Strayer said.

The venue is managed by Hannah Murray, who has been on board about a year and a half.

A number of names were considered for the venue before Murray suggested simply The 1833, the year the church was built.

In addition to the church, Strayer subsequently bought the building that had served as the Family Abuse Shelter’s home for a number of years before the organization chose to move to a new location on Crescent Drive in Troy.

He is working with an architect on plans to renovate that 1875 building into a boutique hotel to accommodate 24. The hotel could serve as lodging for bridal parties, families and friends, and would be open to the public when not in use for venue’s needs. The projected completion date is in late 2025 or early 2026.

The 1833 can accommodate 100 guests for a wedding in the first-floor event area. In addition to weddings, it is being promoted for gatherings such as anniversary parties, baby showers, meetings, conferences and graduations, and it hosted a New Year’s Party and fundraiser earlier this year.

On March 23, The 1833 will host a Bridal Expo from 1-5 p.m. featuring about 20 area vendors for an array of wedding-related services.

“I think we have selected categories that brides would be most interested in. A lot of planning that brides do, they don’t know who to call. We will have one or two of each category,” he said.

The building has restored stained glass windows that were first installed in the early 1900s. It also has four restrooms, including an ADA accessible restroom in the undercroft, which also was renovated to include a catering kitchen and bridal suite among other possible uses.

The project so far, including the building purchase, cost Strayer Development between $800,000 and $1 million, Strayer said.

More information on The 1833 is available via email at info@1833troy.com, on the web at www.1833troy.com, or by calling 937-703-4497. The venue also is on Facebook and Instagram.

Contact this contributing writer at nancyburr@aol.com

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