Historic Designation Could Save Former St. Paul Church From Wrecking Ball

October 24, 2018 06:27 PM

A historic designation could save a former St. Paul church from being torn down.

The former St. Andrew's Church along Como Avenue is part of the Twin Cities German Immersion School.

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Earlier this summer, officials with the school voted to tear down the church as part of plans to expand. 

RELATED: Old St. Paul Church to be Demolished for School Expansion

But community members like Bonnie Youngquist are on a mission to save a church that was built in the 1920s. 

"The more you look at it, the more you realize what you might miss," said Youngquist, who is part of the group Save Historic St. Andrew's.

"We have a good case, and we're in this for the long haul."

RELATED: Future of Old St. Paul Church Sparks Debate

The parish moved away from the neighborhood in 2011. The church building was later purchased by the German Immersion School.

And in July, administrators voted to tear it down and build a new addition.

"We are really looking forward to creating the kind of facility that our kids need," said Ted Anderson, the school's executive director. 

Placing a historic designation on the church would prevent demolition. And that's exactly what the city's Heritage Preservation Commission is considering at a public hearing early next month.

"The more we're learning, the more committed we are to saving this building from demolition," Youngquist said. 

But Anderson said those efforts could impact the school.

"We feel that any move in that direction is going to take up valuable time and money resources from us as a school," he said. 

And Anderson stresses that the church's current condition presents space and safety concerns. 

"We really feel like we've done our due diligence and have really looked at all the options," Anderson said. 

Anderson has already submitted a site plan to the city, and he intends to move forward with it.

"I feel sometimes we're portrayed as a big bully in this process, and I really want to emphasize how we're just working for the best interest of these kids," Anderson said. 

There were talks of selective early demolition, but both sides agreed to delay that until after the hearing.

"That didn't turn out to be feasible logistically or financially," Anderson said. 

"This church is meant to survive for hundreds and hundreds of years," Youngquist said. 

The public hearing is set for 5 p.m. on Nov. 5. 
 

Credits

Brett Hoffland

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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