Riverside Third Space Coming to Salem Lutheran Church After Receiving Casino Impact Grant

| June 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

Salem Lutheran Church Baltimore is renovating its basement Fellowship Hall at 1530 Battery Ave. in Riverside and renaming it Riverside Third Space. The project was made possible because of a $49,995 Community Grant from South Baltimore Gateway Partnership, which manages South Baltimore’s Local Impact Grants from Maryland casinos.

The project also received a grant from the Krug Family Foundation and donations from Salem Lutheran’s members.

Salem Lutheran Pastor Lauren Muratore and Deacon and Riverside Third Space Project Manager Sara Jane Baublitz said they envision it as a shared space for the community. Since it’s not a home or place of work, they are calling it a third space. They are hoping to host events that promote wellness, healthy eating, and recreation.

The basement has a 2,100 sq. ft. hall with a stage that has been the home to local performance group Riverside Stage and has also served as the venue for Thomas Johnson Elementary Middle School’s plays. There is also a working kitchen and a 910 sq. ft. classroom that can be divided into two rooms.

The renovation project will add new flooring; painted walls; new light fixtures; painted cabinets, stainless steel prep surfaces, and a new countertops in the kitchen; updated bathrooms; a projector; new tables; and chairs.

The Fellowship Hall at Salem Lutheran has hosted Riverside Neighborhood Association meetings, Alcoholics Anonymous, Fit4Mom classes, yoga classes, Girl Scout events, Fitness Fun & Games, movie nights, play groups, and one-time events. Riverside Third Space will continue to host similar events and will have a “pay what you can” policy for using the venue. Salem Lutheran has also used the basement for BINGO nights and coffee after church.

The Riverside Third Space improvements will be completed through a mix of volunteer events and contractor services. The space has been cleared out in recent weeks to remove things that have collected in Fellowship Hall over the years.

Pastor Muratore said Riverside Third Space will be an inclusive space for people of all backgrounds.

Deacon Baublitz said she is “so grateful” to receive the grant and has always been thinking about ways to activate the space. “We had the space, we just needed the cash,” she said.

“We want to make sure there are space in South Baltimore to come together and enjoy being in South  Baltimore,” said South Baltimore Gateway Partnership Executive Director Brad Rogers.

Salem Lutheran will also be adding a community garden in raised beds outside the church building along E. Randall St. Pastor Muratore said people who need herbs and vegetables from the garden will be able to come by and grab them.

Salem Lutheran, which has been in Riverside since 1885, has its sanctuary on the first floor and a portion of the property is leased to daycare program Beth El @ Federal Hill.

Stage hall

The kitchen

The classroom

The sanctuary 

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