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SBLM Architects Transforms Mid-Century South Dallas Church Into Full-Service, Client-Choice Community Food Pantry

Jeffrey Hill Headshot

Jeffrey Hill

Award-winning architecture firm’s design of Aunt Bette’s Community Pantry on the campus of St. Philip’s School earns accolades and gratitude from community

DALLAS, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, March 5, 2024 / — The complex renovation of the recently completed Aunt Bette’s Community Pantry, designed by SBLM Architects, is already garnering accolades and appreciation in South Dallas. Sponsored by St. Philips School and Community Center, the client-choice community pantry had operated from a much smaller space shared with Meals-on-Wheels for more than a decade. Its new location at 3203 Holmes Street on the St. Philips campus was made possible by a generous endowment from the Episcopalian Diocese and local benefactors, including the Perot family, who over the years has donated $2 million to support the mission originally established by the food pantry’s namesake, Margaret “Bette” Perot.

An adaptive reuse of a former church, the project’s challenges included the need for extensive MEP systems renovation work and other critical infrastructure upgrades. In addition, heavy amounts of vandalism in the previously vacant building had taken a toll on the structure and needed to be repaired during a conversion of the space into a food pantry.

“SBLM has deep roots in Dallas and we are honored to have been chosen to transform a vacant AME church into a thriving resource for the community,” pointed out SBLM Principal Jeffrey Hill, AIA, who was responsible for the design. “This is an area that in the past was labeled a ‘food desert’ and there are still myriad issues to resolve. But if our design contributes to an increased use of this essential resource and provides greater efficiency, then all the work was worth it.”

The 4,254-square-foot center now contains a 1,575-square-foot pantry and grocery area, 676-square-foot storage and stockroom, 374-square-foot receiving and lobby area, and 1,629 square feet of various support areas with sound attenuating, acoustical ceiling tiles.

Mr. Hill was retained by St. Philip’s Headmaster, Dr. Terry Flowers for the uplifting project. The project management team included Bill Kessler, Dennis Palmer, and John Boehnlein of Building Solutions.

The project took approximately 18 months from conception to completion.

Established in 1993, SBLM Architects has four interconnected, Principal-headed Studio offices in New York City, Long Island, NY, Miami, FL, and Dallas, TX. With more than three decades in practice, SBLM has completed thousands of projects throughout the U.S., providing environmentally responsible solutions for such market categories as Healthcare, Education, Mixed-use and Residential, Retail and Commercial, and Civic environments. SBLM’s dedicated family of architects and designers, creative problem-solvers, insightful planners, and seasoned collaborators continue to meet the needs of our clients’ visions, delivering design solutions that inspire, connect, perform, and drive business.

Linda Alexander
Alexander Marketing Corp.
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