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.


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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