Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Start Your Own Church

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I often post things that are fun or attractive about St. Louis. We have plenty of good points. Still, there are areas of the city proper that have been depopulated and become desolate. In 1950, the population of the central city was about 900,000. Over 60 years, terrible suburban sprawl, highway construction and economic and racial change in residential patterns dropped the figure to 330,000. The city is the symbolic core of the region but only a small part of the 2.6 million people in the area.

This means, of course, that a lot of interesting and sometimes historic buildings have been abandoned. Many churches have gone out of business as their congregations leaked away.
This one is at Gravois and Lemp on the near South Side. A few old churches find new lives as condos. One has been turned into a charming wedding chapel and catering business, Patty Long's 9th Street Abbey, where my daughter was married. Another has become The Black Repertory Theater. That's the exception, though. This church may be waiting for a religious entrepreneur to proclaim his or her version of Word. Or you could open a bar. They do well.

10 comments:

lewi14 said...

Intersting photo, the monochrome fits to the matter. In Germany there are also churches for sale. I'm not religious, but it's a pity that churches are up for sale. On the other hand such buildings could be nice theatres, lovely coffeehouses, charming restaurants or cinemas. It's still better than demoliation.

Olivier said...

je savais pas que l'on pouvait louer des eglises ;) superbe b&w

cieldequimper said...

I know in England you can buy old churches or chapels to live in, although I'm not religious at all it kind of shocks me. On the other hand, it's probably better than to see them crumbling apart like some do in this country for want of... Vatican funds...

Louis la Vache said...

On the subject of the decline in population in St. Louis, «Louis» recently read that St. Louis has attracted many immigrants from Bosnia who have turned some declining neighborhoods around.

brattcat said...

Those are ominous storm clouds overhead. Is this foreshadowing?

Virginia said...

Looks in better shape than one I photographed the other day. I've seen folks that turned churches into homes on HGTV!! :)
V

Bibi said...

I didn't think churches could be rented either, but now that I think of it, there is one here that is a theater now and there is/was one in Seattle that I believe is/was a disco of some sorts. I'm not particularly religious, but I think a disco isn't a good idea....

Chuck Pefley said...

We have a few of those scattered around Seattle, too.

A very dramatic sky, Bob, with somehow a very mid-west feel to it. Reminds me a bit of the historical WPA work.

Nefertiti said...

j adore le "a louer" surtout ;O)

Carolyn Burke said...

Just next door was the Lucas Events Space. It was a great venue for music and events. The economy must have put a toll on the owner. The renovation and upkeep must have been too much.

Great photo! I enjoy your work!!

Carolyn Burke - Event Location Service