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A Venue with Character & History

Established in 1905

The Sanctuary History

Constructed in 1905, the Sacred Heart Church stood as an astonishing testament to architectural brilliance within a town still emerging into a port city. This structure drew inspiration from the popular European church architectural style while making use of Pensacola’s primary exports during that time: brick and ‘heart’ pine. The collaborative efforts of Rt. Rev. Edward Allen, Bishop of the Diocese of Mobile, Architect A.D. Alfred, and W.W. Alford culminated in the church’s exterior design, reflecting the Gothic Revival Romanesque trend of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Following the great Hurricane of 1906, with a mere few weeks left until completion, the Archbishop concluded that the roof had incurred substantial damage, necessitating a complete replacement. The meticulous process of re-roofing was initiated, not only involving the restoration of the roof but also the incorporation of metal-tie rods. Alongside the exposed roof rafters, locally sourced timber was employed to span the entire length, conveying a sense of spaciousness and openness that highlighted the extensive efforts dedicated to the renewal of the edifice.

August 26, 1906, marked the completion of Sacred Heart Church, a momentous occasion commemorated through a dedication ceremony honoring Rev. Allen and a handful of parishioners. This church remained steadfast in serving the Catholic community for over half a century.

In 1956, the Church’s ownership was transferred to the City of Pensacola for a nominal sum of one hundred dollars ($100), a transaction that was accompanied by a significant DEED RESTRICTION bearing the signature of Archbishop T.J. Toolen. This binding restriction explicitly stipulated that the property could never be sold or repurposed as a Protestant church.
From 1957 to 1965, the Pensacola Symphony revitalized the church making use of the vaulted ceilings. It was later sold for a mere one hundred dollars ($100) to the Church of Christ, a Protestant denomination. Remarkably, Pope Paul VI granted permission to lift the Deed Restriction allowing the sale to a non-Catholic church. This acquisition
made the building the world’s first instance of a Catholic church being sold to a non-Catholic church, breaking new ground in interdenominational transactions.

In 1982, the Unity Church of Christianity acquired the building for a symbolic one hundred dollars ($100) and served its parishioners for 41 years.

In 2022, our family and group of friends fell in love with the space and decided to embark on this labor of love. Over the years, great care has been given to preserve the century-old details of this beautiful space. A tradition we plan to continue.

Unique and Stunning Celebrations.

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