For years, there were rumblings that the Our Lady of Lourdes church would never stand to see the rebirth of the city. As much as there were also talks that Ellicott Development was going to do the right thing, and save the structure, exposed window openings in the middle of winter signaled that that might not be the case. The race was on… who would win? Preservation? Or parking lot?
When Ellicott Development began demolishing nearby buildings, including the rectory and a school back in 2014, many people felt that the act didn’t bode well for the future of the church.
Then, back in June, new concept plans for the church were unveiled, which tied a new construction project to the historic structure. The plans showcased a significant development, along with the following details featured on BRO:
Concept Construction Corporation has been selected as the Construction Manager for a significant addition to the Medical Campus and General Contractor for Mercy Hospital’s cardiac care operating room expansion project.
At roughly $20 million, 1091 Main is a historic, adaptive reuse project by Ellicott Development located at the northeast corner of St. Paul and Main Street directly south of the former Our Lady Lourdes church. It offers a modern exterior with a range of materials selected to communicate an aesthetic connection to the adjacent historic church. At six stories in height, 1091 Main will include approximately 167,000 sq.ft. of retail and office space and include one level of underground parking for 50 vehicles. Ample additional parking will be available at the rear of the property.
The new building will internally connect with the former Our Lady Lourdes church by way of a connecting two-story winter garden. The historic Our Lady Lourdes church will undergo an adaptive restoration in conjunction with the development of 1091 Main. The former church will be transformed into a vibrant mix of retail, restaurant, commercial office and residential uses. Two additional floors will be constructed within the open cathedral nave producing approximately 14,000 sq.ft. over three floors.
It might have taken a while to get going, and a couple of buildings were lost along the way, but this project at 1091 Main signals a new day for this corner. Work is underway on the church. For years, the preservation-minded community called for the window openings of the church to be boarded up and secured. Years earlier, the churches stained glass windows had been ransacked, leaving the building exposed to the elements. Thankfully, preservationists boarded up the openings, but eventually Mother Nature got the best of them, which is when people began to wonder if we would see the same demolition by neglect that we saw with St. Mary’s on the Hill on Niagara Street. Fortunately, that is not the case, or we would have another parking lot on Main Street, just like this one on Niagara Street.