Now that we’re seeing some warmer days, I’m hopeful that St. Mary’s On The Hill will continue to hang in there (see back story). I wasn’t quite sure if the building was going to last until spring. With each passing day the community continues to hold its collective breath in hopes that a new owner can be found who has the resources to shore up the walls and add a roof. Fortunately, there is a joint effort underway to locate an investor who can complete the task at hand. From Harvey Garrett of the West Side Community Collaborative (WSCC):
“We have some real good options. We have a few interested parties looking at it. We’re looking at stabilizing the building – stabilizing the roof alone would cost $70,000. At the same time, that’s how much it would cost to demolish the front section of the church. That means that it is in The City’s best interest to leave the church standing. Of course there is a serious concern that the walls could fall on the building next door. Everyone is working together to save the building – The City, preservationists, the community. It’s the only way to get this done. Everyone is realizing that we all have the same hopes and concerns. City Hall is legally responsible if something happens to someone due to the building’s weakened condition. It’s a battle of time. The building could last a day, or it could last three weeks or more. We need to save the property by finding a new owner. It’s looking hopeful.
“The best outcome would be to save the building in order to save The City money, while having a viable building at the same time. We’re not really sure what the current owner’s reasons are for owning this church. They told us that the plan was to build a daycare center. They’ve owned the building for two years. Now the time line depends on the building. It could fall down tomorrow. The City inspectors are checking it every day. As soon as the bricks start to fall, then we’ve lost the battle. We’re hoping that the building does not become a safety issue. Once again, everyone, including The City, is working towards saving the structure.”
Photos © 2011 Joyce E. Young | buffaloah.com/a/niag/781/781.html