Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Washington Post op-ed: "The tragedy to communities when church buildings are demolished to make condos"

Click on the link to read the entire Washington Post op-ed item:



I walk by a brown brick church in my neighborhood every day. On Sunday, the aging but still impressive building will be empty on Easter for the first time in a hundred years. And soon, the building will be converted into luxury condos.

While the impact of gentrification on affordable housing in D.C. and other cities has been a topic of ongoing study and debate, still underappreciated is its impact on a different sort of “housing” — namely, houses of worship. The issue is on my radar because I am the pastor of a church that met in that building until November.

For four years, Grace Meridian Hill was the sole tenant of 3431 13th Street NW, a 100-year-old building formerly owned by Mount Rona Missionary Baptist Church. In 2014, our landlord sold the property to developers. We recently learned the groundbreaking is scheduled for this week.
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Note that Bloomingdale’s church building at 2nd and S Street NW is slated to be demolished and replaced by new construction rowhouses.  And note that a historic landmark nomination has been filed for the original church building. 






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