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St. Therese's Retreat Center | Columbus Landmarks

2020 Most Endangered Sites

St. Therese’s Retreat Center


Year Built: 1931
Address: 5277 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43213
Owner: Catholic Diocese of Columbus

St. Therese’s Retreat Center has offered hospitality for group spiritual retreats for almost 90 years. The retreat center was established as a quiet and restful place of peace by Bishop James J. Hartley, who was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John A. Watterson in 1882 in St. Joseph Cathedral and installed as Bishop of Columbus in 1903. The 8-acre retreat center features a Romanesque style stone chapel modeled after small European churches, 54 bedrooms, outdoor Stations of the Cross and a grotto. Also on this site remains a Deshler Family residence that pre-dates the retreat. The Deshlers were one of the founding families of Columbus and owned property at Broad & High for first a home, then the Deshler Block including the Deshler Bank, and later the glamorous Deshler Hotel.

Why is this site endangered?

St. Therese’s Retreat Center is scheduled to close June 30, 2020. If sold, the property will be a prime development target located in a rare, unexploited land area.

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9 Comments

Justine – May 16, 2020

What a shame if this beautiful property were to be destroyed and replaced with the “new”! In Europe building have stood for thousands of years but here it seems we have no respect for older, beautiful buildings. New is not always better!

Susan McMullen – May 19, 2020

Destruction of this beautiful chapel would be a tragedy. This country needs to preserve the architecture of its history and its people who created this special place to worship God.

Susan McMullen – May 19, 2020

Destruction of this chapel would be a tragedy. This country needs to preserve the architecture of its history and its people who created this special place to worship God.

Anita – May 20, 2020

This sacred place has more than architectural significance and is important to save. What a wonderful gift it would be if someone, or group of someones, would purchase St. Therese’s from the Diocese, invest in the physical plant to upgrade it and open it as an independent, non-profit, non-denominational retreat center! I wish I had the means to do it myself, but surely there are enough people with the means who see the deep value of St. Therese’s. As a gift to the spiritual welfare of central Ohio, please consider saving it!

Steve – May 26, 2020

We must save this very special place of spiritual renewal and growth. It is sad to see faith be assigned an ROI.

Cyndi Williams – May 21, 2020

I still pray and hope the Shrine will be saved! This would be a great place to perhaps move the Jubilee Museum and with the ample parking and easy access, tours could be scheduled and charged for to pay for the upkeep perhaps? The Chapel and all of the grounds are too beautiful and should not be destroyed! I too wish I had the dollars to save it!!!! I’ve attended a lot of wonderful Women Retreats at the Shrine and go there to walk and pray sometimes.

Mary Malone – May 21, 2020

I agree with the previous post by Cyndi Williams. This would be an absolute, perfect place for the Jubilee Museum. Maybe a gift shop as well that could be staffed by volunteers. There is so much potential for the St. Therese’s. So much of our Catholic heritage is here. I pray it can be saved.

Diane Gawron – May 22, 2020

It would be a real tragedy to lose the St. Therese’s Retreat Center. When you go to the shrine, you can actually feel the holiness and all the prayers that have been shared over the years. It is a place that inspires and renews our faith in God. It will be such a loss to the Catholic community if the Shrine is sold and destroyed. It needs to be saved to prove there is a place for God in our materialistic world.

Mark Finneran – May 25, 2020

It would be a travesty to close and destroy this retreat center! It has served as a desperately needed respite for thousands of Catholic Christians on retreats over the very many years. In this day of social insanity, where the world is on fire, and anxieties run so high, a place of peace and quiet and prayer is essential. There is no comparable place for reflection, quiet and spiritual restoration in central Ohio. Please do not let scary finances drive this poorly considered decision, the lives and the spiritual wellness of the members of the body of Christ are more important than transient temporal needs. Clean up the house without destroying its foundation.
If not for the spiritual well being of the people, then at least consider the incredible architecture. This type of architectural craftsmanship will not be found again, it would be impossible to replicate. To destroy such incredible work would add insult to injury, and a true treasure would be lost forever.

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