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Another one bites the dust. (Thanks to Vess von Ruhtenberg for the alert) Holy Angels Catholic Church at 28th and MLK is the latest congregation to bulldoze and rebuild rather than repair.

Not being part of the congregation, I don’t know all the intimate details (here’s one article from almost a year ago), but if there is now money to demolish and rebuild, how was there not enough to repair a leaking roof?Yeah, yeah, yeah–some people want to say it’s so much cheaper to destroy and build anew.  I’d really love to see some actual numbers on that… and with something like a roof leak, it’s hard to imagine how that wasn’t addressed (to the point of the building’s supposed ruination) and yet a destruct and rebuild is financially feasible.

This is a done deal–all the windows were already gone when I drove by on Friday afternoon. You can see why so many people saw this as a beacon of hope and light in an area that could use some. Today’s prayer is that someday people realize the importance of a historic building to a community. Taking an area’s history, strips its identity, stability, and the sense of pride that comes from knowing a place. What will it take to get this message to resonate more widely? This was built in 1903, for crying out loud.

The 1904 city directory lists the “Church of the Holy Angels” at the Corner of 28th and Northwestern Avenue. Reverend James L. Carrico, rector. Mass 8am; Vespers, 3pm; Sunday School 2pm.

UGH. Wish divine intervention was an option.

16 responses to “Sunday Prayers: Holy Angels Catholic Church”

  1. Anna Bair says:

    What a rotten shame! Same thing happened to St. Catherine’s Catholic Church at Shelby & Tabor Streets on the southside. I attended the auction at that church and it was very disheartening…..they even sold the screens out of the windows. It had a BEAUTIFUL huge round stained glass window in the front that was sold to one woman piece by piece (pie shaped) and she ALMOST didn’t get the last piece of the window because someone was outbidding her. St. Catherine merged with Good Shepard and they built a new modern church down the street and why they couldn’t use the stained glass window in the old church is beyond me!!

    There is another vacant church at Michigan and College that has been empty for years! There were signs of construction a couple of years ago but now there’s nothing but a boarded up church.

  2. Anna Bair says:

    and I am so glad someone is remodeling the old RIVOLI THEATRE on East 10th Street. they have finally cleaned up the trash and such in the front. It will be glorius when finished.

  3. basil berchekas jr says:

    Know where this was on the Northwest side; definitely wish to stay connected here; yes, if there’s money to build new, there’s bound to be money to rehabilitate, and yes, one would be interested in seeing “real” financials on rehab versus “build new”…

  4. Kevin J. Brewer says:

    It’s located at 28th and Martin Luther King Jr. Street,, not Michigan.

  5. Aaron K says:

    I was out there yesterday taking pictures. A deacon came out and told me to leave before he called the police for trespassing. I was respectful and took pictures from the parking lot so I didn’t understand the hostility. I thought this was rude. All to often church elders seem to not want anyone around a building they are about to shamefully destroy as if they are ashamed of it themselves. Later I had a conversation with Doc (Owner of Doc’s Salvage). He said that he was in getting floor joists and similarly was told to leave after having prior permission.

    Interesting and sad. I would advise people that this is not a safe spot to scavenge.

  6. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    I’d never advise scavenging anywhere, but to take photos? Really? That man SHOULD be ashamed. Not only of destroying history, but of his behavior. How upsetting to continue to find religious folk who act so unkind. Sorry for your experience, Aaron. I took pics from across the street as you can see.

  7. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    You must have been reading off the post on fb since I corrected the post last night. Brain was out to lunch as it is sometimes, and despite knowing something, I’ll sometimes type something else. Elsewhere, I think I typed 26th, when I meant 28th. Luckily, with a few thousand interested people, I tend to get the mistakes quickly corrected. Cheers. 😉

  8. bob says:

    It is sad what churches do to neighborhoods. A church at 32nd and College (my neighborhood) recently demolished an old house on Fall Creek Parkway and all of the 100+ year old trees along with it to make room for yet ANOTHER PARKING LOT! Now they own all 4 properties between College and Fall Creek Pkwy and removed all of the trees. It is totally disgusting looking. They have no interest in replanting trees, no interest in working with the neighborhood, and worst of all, only use the lots on Sunday.
    So much for moral responsibility in the community…

  9. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    Is this the one you mean, Bob? http://historicindianapolis.com/sunday-prayers-fall-creek-parkway-and-32nd-street/ My winced when I saw those trees being ripped out and now when I pass that naked corner, my heart just sinks. I (mistakenly) presumed that was one of the city’s bulldoze jobs.

    Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. But I think it’s like life in general: there are some remarkable people and there are some abominable people…

  10. bob says:

    Yup that is the one. I was recently told by the preacher that the church doesn’t have the money to pave the other lot that the busses sit on (which they could then stripe to maximize parking spaces), so i can only assume that the new lot will also be nothing more than a big empty gravel lot. He told me this as he was getting into his Mercedes S550 4-Matic – go figure.

  11. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    Wow.

  12. Brad says:

    I just happened to be driving south on MLK this afternoon, they were were tearing down the building, I wish I had not been in a hurry or I would of pulled over and snapped some pictures for you.

  13. David Brewer says:

    I saw in the Indianapolis Star that the church was trying to make arrangements to save the bell. The demolition crew had said they would try but weren’t going to be able to promise anything. Anybody hear if they did save the bell?

    I drove by there on my lunch hour and saw that they had the church demolished about halfway, going from the back to the front. I had hoped to get a glimpse of what might be under the siding, but no such luck.

  14. David Brewer says:

    I just answered my question. There are a lot of demolition pictures on the Star website, including one where they are lowering the bell. There’s also some interesting photos of what was in the cornerstone–unfortunately much of it is water damaged.

  15. Bo ward says:

    If you read the Indy Star article that you referenced, you would see why the church needed to be torn down. It was way past just needing a roof patch! Years of neglect meant the whole building was unsafe, unstable, and downright dangerous. The parish is small and poor, and the Archdiocese has done everything possible to keep that parish from dying. The bishop is charged with saving souls, not buildings.

  16. Jim Walsh says:

    My siblings and I attended Holy Angels from 1947 to 1952. So sad how that area has turned to crap.

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