The former rectory of St. Dominic Church in the Bronzeville Neighborhood sits empty and the local diocese wants to clear the site of the structure. The neighborhood association and Columbus Landmarks group want the building to be preserved.
The Franklin County Auditor web page describes the building as a single-family dwelling that is worth $214,000 when assessed for taxes. The house has eight-foot walls, with more than 3,000 square feet and considered Very Good Quality. It has four bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms with a full basement.
Willis Brown is the President of the Bronzeville Neighborhood Association. He wants the building to be preserved.
“We can’t just erase our past, because we feel that it has no significance because we don’t know its history,” said Brown. “It’s over a hundred years old [and] it’s a part of the fabric of this community.”
Brown said that the groups have offered to purchase the home and even have it moved to another location, in order to preserve it. The home sits on two acres with the church and a parish building. The Columbus Diocese was unable to respond to questions. Instead, it sent the following statement via email.
While up to this point The Diocese of Columbus has been moving forward with the razing process of St. Dominic Church’s former rectory, it is reviewing the request from Columbus Landmarks regarding the building’s future. While we appreciate their input and that of other concerned citizens in the community to keep the structure in place for possible renovation or restoration, we still have profound concerns regarding leaving an unused and unattended building on church property. Along with the parish leadership at St. Dominic, we want to make sure that we are making an appropriate choice to ensure the overall safety and security of the parish grounds.