Reporting John Ostapkovich
Filed underBusiness & Economy, Community, Government, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Tourism, Watch + Listen
By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Here we go again: a battle over a Philadelphia church building with a brilliant past but a troubled future.
The former Church of the Assumption looms over Spring Garden Street near 12th, with a car wash and lube to one side.
But nailed to its padlocked door is a notice of demolition, the second time a buyer of the building has wished to bulldoze what passersby see as history.
“First of all, the architecture,” said one man. “That’s from a different era. It should be protected historically or something.”
“It’s a history site, that’s what I think about it,” said a woman. “It’s been here for years.”
More than 160 years, in fact. It was consecrated by John Neumann, and was the site of Katherine Drexel’s baptism, both of whom are now Catholic saints.
A court fight is threatened to save the building from the wrecking ball, but there’s no clear white knight riding in to give it a new purpose intact — or even improved.