Friday, July 16, 2010

Cathedral preservation meeting ends in deadlock; mediator next

Jill at Blah Blog Blah attended last night's CB3 meeting regarding the preservation of the Historic Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Martyr on East Second Street. In a comment, she reported:

[T]he two sides are really at odds, which is so strange because ultimately they want the same thing — to preserve the church they love.

The meeting ended with both sides agreeing to go to a mediator to try to work it out.

Apparently there is a group that helps with financing and all the red tape that the church is worried about. But the anger seemed to go beyond that. What I got from the speeches was that the church members feel like they felt like they are being invaded by strangers who want to proclaim landmark status on the building without engaging the occupants of the building. Like their opinion on the matter was an afterthought.

However, if this fight has been going on since before the rezoning (which is why they say they can't add an addition even if they want to), then the 8-story addition was probably a real threat, and the landmark status was meant to stop them, so engaging them wouldn't have made much sense then, as it was a strategy to stop them from proceeding with their plan.

I wonder if it is possible to could get landmark status in spite of what the church members want. It seems to me that if the EVCC et al are worried that the church, or their future congregants will try to change the building in any way (8 story addition not withstanding) then they are exactly who landmark status is meant to protect the building from.

Patrick Hedlund has more on the story at DNAinfo.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Looking for support of the proposed landmarking of the Historic Russian Orthodox Cathedral

[Cathedral image courtesy of Barry Munger]

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