2.19.19 UPDATE: The East Franklinton Review Board voted to approve demolition of the 1912 West Side Spiritualist Church at their meeting today to clear the site for Homeport’s plan for a 50-unit affordable housing building. Conditions of approval include approval of Low Income Housing Tax Credits; approval of new building design; and Section 106 Review. It is anticipated the earliest date that demolition may occur is May 2019. In the meantime, Columbus Landmarks will continue to advocate for this important building.
Affordable Housing + Historic Preservation = WIN
We agree that affordable housing is Priority #1 for our rapidly growing city. But may we point to any number of larger, vacant parcels in the vicinity? Or better still – build on this small parcel with the church as the centerpiece of a signature, Franklinton pride-worthy design. Historic Preservation Tax Credits can help get the job done!
Adaptive Reuse over Demolition
Some will ask what can be done with a vacant, historic church? The possibilities for adaptive reuse are endless, but let’s start with just three productive examples where it has worked really well in our city:
1. Welsh Church »
2. First Baptist Church »
3. Christian and Missionary Alliance Church »
It’s ironic this announcement arrives as our City prepares to adopt climate change measures. The development proposal would not only haul tons of wasted materials to the landfill but also sacrifice all of the embodied energy of a 106-year-old building.
Franklinton is an Arts District brimming with people inspired by AUTHENTICITY. New, thoughtful infill development is adding more vibrancy, attracting new residents and businesses, creating jobs, and connecting neighbors east to west. But let’s work together to preserve the precious few remaining historic assets that are not only the physical evidence of Franklinton in an earlier heyday, but the potential catalyst for something truly INSPIRING and uniquely COLUMBUS … and not what you see in a generic anyplace.
c1891 First Spiritualist Church at 79 McDowell St. in Franklinton
Photo: Cols Metro Library, Columbus Memory Collection > Doug Davis 1913 Flood Collection View of the West Side Spiritualist Church at 75 McDowell Street. The flood destruction of the Doddington Company Lumber Yard can be seen in the foreground.