A couple of readers forwarded the following update on the war for the corpse of West Poplar's Assumption BVM, courtesy today's Metro.
Siloam Wellness is now fighting back, claiming the cost of renovations to the place are too high and would put them out of business, and they'd all be better served by demolishing the thing and turning it into a garden. Oh, and it's also rumored that the cost of the land would go up if the church were to go down. Not that that matters to Siloam in any way.
From the article:
Taking a trip through the long-abandoned Church of the Assumption, contends Siloam Wellness' executive director Joe Lukach, would likely prove that the church already died.
“When the church was deserted, the altar was taken out, the stained glass windows were removed,” Lukach said. “I was shocked the way the church was left. So to romanticize it in that way, I don’t think is fair. It’s an empty shell that has frozen and died.”
Oooo, that's cold, if a little true. And yes, I can see Siloam's point of view.
That said, the place still has historical, architectural and emotional value. If Siloam can't or won't abide by that, they should move their facilities elsewhere and give the property to someone who can. North Philadelphia is chock full of available land. Go get one of the thousands of vacant lots and build your garden or what-have-you there; don't knock down a piece of history to do so.
Remember: meeting on May 8, for those interested and available.
Oh, and by the way, Siloam: If you're reading this, and want to give The Project a tour of Assumption's interior, I am so there. Let me know.