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 closed on June 30, 2020. If sold, the property will be a prime development target located in a rare, unexploited land area. However, the Columbus Catholic Diocese reports that the retreat center is in utilization with different temporary uses.