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Much to the dismay of many local historical enthusiasts, St. Joseph’s Church, located in downtown Springfield, MA, is in the process of being torn down by its new owner, Windsor, CT-based Colvest Group.
Opponents of the building’s demolition were hoping Colvest Group would find a way to preserve the 135-year-old building, but such an option was not in the real estate developer’s plans for the site.
Realistically speaking, finding an owner willing to rehabilitate the building was probably a long-shot hope, at best. Unlike the Old First Church, which was purchased by the City of Springfield and is being eyed for preservation as a meeting house or arts center, the St. Joseph’s building is quite large, with adjoining structures adding considerably to its girth. Leasing space would have been a dicey deal, so too renting the place out for weekend events.
Old, historical buildings in Springfield should be treasured and – whenever possible – preserved. But in the downtown area, it’s impractical to expect every old building to be saved – even if they are revered old churches. For St. Joseph’s Church, its time has come and it has passed. But it will also be remembered by those who worshipped in it – and those who admired its architecture – for many more years to come.
See photos, below, followed by a brief, 4-minute video.
For more on the future plans for the property, see this Urban Compass story.
|St. Joseph’s Demolition|