The century-old church in the Columbus area of America will be demolished due to planned mass housing project.

The empty West Side Spiritualist Church at 79 McDowell St., one of the most important areas of Columbus, will be demolished for the non-profit public housing project by Homeport.

“I think (the church) could be a fantastic community and amenities center for any of the new developments growing up around it,” said Becky West, Columbus Landmarks’ executive director.

″It’s worth saving because it is architecturally interesting, historically significant and culturally valuable,” West said, adding that the church has been nominated for Columbus Landmarks’ most-endangered buildings list for 2019.

The church, built in 1911, was empty for about seven years. The church building has been owned by the land bank of Columbus since 2013. East Franklinton Review Board approved the plan to demolish the church.

“I don’t like to see the church being demolished,” said Bill Fergus, the board’s chairman. “As we went through the process, we were persuaded there was no feasible way to save the church or any significant portion of it.

“We were also persuaded that the city had done (its) due diligence, making every reasonable effort to find a use for the church to make sure it was economically feasible. It wasn’t there.”

Bruce Luecke, Homeport president and CEO, told the church doesn’t lend itself to housing, plus its condition is poor. He said Homeport might use some of the church’s materials, including the rose window at the front of the building.

Luecke said construction of the $10.9 million apartment building likely won’t begin until next year.


Sevdenur Demir /