The late, great St. Bonaventure has bedeviled many an urban explorer. Its decayed grace just beckons tantalizing to all who pass it, but the inaccessibility of the owners--whoever they are--puts the kibosh on almost all explorations. And sure, the building isn't exactly ironclad anymore, but who wants to go breaking into an old church in the middle of Fairhill? No one I know.
Yet, somehow, Project reader Rob M. found a way. And he's kindly shared the spoils of his voyage.
So how about an interior peek at everybody's favorite Badlands relic?
Great photos, especially if all you've ever seen of this place are black-and-white historical images.
Two thoughts come to mind:
One, again, what's interesting is what the Archdiocese left behind. Vestments? Diplomas and trophies? Seriously? You couldn't be bothered to take that with you? And what's with leaving the clerestory windows?
Two, this place looks surprisingly good. I mean, sure, I wouldn't want to go have a romantic picnic here, or pitch a tent and spend the night. But for a church that has not seen literally one iota of human care in 18 years, St. Bonaventure looks pretty damn good. Some of the paintwork is still so bold and bright--especially in the side aisles--that it's almost hard to believe it's been vacant for so long.
This place looks 10 times better than poor Assumption BVM, which looks like it had a neutron bomb set off in its interior. It looks better than the last interior St. Boniface pictures I saw.
Hell, in many ways it doesn't look much worse for wear than Ascension of Our Lord. If I put pictures side by side, would you be able to tell which was the vacant parish and which was the active one? The answers wouldn't come so easily, I think.
I have no idea what the structural state is, but I doubt it's worse than Assumption. If they can skirt the wrecking ball (and signs are good), this place can, too. It's just a shame Fairhill is so far away from any sort of love.