Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Iconoclasm



Along with the on going York St. Jail demolition, there's another big knock-down happening nearby. Across the highway and north a little bit, a familiar piece of Springfield's skyline is quietly disappearing.

The huge St. Joseph's Church, long an icon of the South End of Springfield, is being demolished. The church unfortunately had no historical preservation protection; not being in an historic district, and privately owned. Being on a commercially valuable piece of land, it didn't have much of a chance. It was bought late last year, by developers who see fit to replace the 1873 building. (thanks to Urban Compass for the info)



The once towering steeple is already gone.








This giant 'Space Available' sign has been visible from the highway for some time, on an adjacent building that is also going down.



Here's a picture of the old church, in better days. Here's a link by a local photographer, with some more pics (mistakenly labeled St. Anthony's).



I stopped in at the South End McDonald's, and coincidentally noticed this picture of the church in it's heyday. It hangs along side the former armory/now South End Community Center, and a picture of Columbus Day parade Shriners.



Testament to an old church's former importance, in a changed neighborhood.

5 comments:

Heather B said...

Thanks for the photos. Sad to see that thing coming down, but so it goes.

It's been incredible to watch the jail come down gradually. I hope a number of people are trying to document these demolitions.

Tony said...

I'll probably take one more round of pics of the jail demo if I happen to be around at the right time, when the last of it goes down. Bill Dusty ( http://www.springfieldintruder.com/?page_id=29 ) took some good video, I'm sure others have recorded it...

MrsChew said...

How sad. That was a beautiful building both the school and church. I attended that elementary school as a child and made my first communion there as well. It's too bad a building like that couldn't be rehabbed so that we could still keep it in the city but for another use.

Does anyone know if there are pictures of the inside of the school? I'd like to take one more trip down memory lane before it's no longer there

Tony said...

I posted a request for pictures on the Masslive Nostalgia forum. Let's see if anything turns up...

Bill Weye said...

Taking photos inside the school might be tricky. I was in the church taking photos Thursday (photos to come soon on my Flickr page), and it looked pretty dark and dangerous. Thursday a crew from NYC was there taking out anything of worth, and that was their last day. It should be full steam ahead for the take-down; I would guess it'll be gone in a week or two.

My parents got married there in 1961; my mother went to school and church there too.