Saturday, June 26, 2010

St. Francis is gone

When the demolition of the old State Theater on Main Street in Nanticoke commenced more than a few years ago, the first shot from the mighty wrecking ball bounced off. Maybe they just built buildings a little more sturdily back in those days. Or maybe some of these old landmarks of Nanticoke aren't willing to go down without a fight.

St. Francis church, vacated two years ago due to structural concerns, finally came down this week. But something went horribly wrong; whether it was due to incompetence, dumb luck, or fate's perverse sense of humor, I do not know.

When the decision was made to dispose of the church building, another decision was made to sell off the old, spacious nearby rectory, former home of the resident priest. It was purchased by a local funeral home and was subtly converted into a spacious funeral parlor. The parlor was ready to open as soon as the demolition of the old church was completed and the debris cleared away.

The church had other ideas.

During demolition on Wednesday part of the church collapsed onto part of the rectory, in the left of center of the picture above, causing structural damage that forced the funeral director out of the building. A full determination of the damage to and status of the rectory is, as far as I know, still pending.

This is sad, as much a tragedy as the loss of the church itself. Because even though the old church would be gone, some part of it would live on it the old rectory. Now it is possible that the rectory may have to be demolished as well.

See also:

Church demolition tears down rectory wall - News - Citizens Voice
Church comes down, but faith goes on The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA

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