Lansford Church, School Demolished
#1 Feb 23, 2012
Let's see: There are fewer than 4,000 people living in Lansford, and there were four Catholic parishes, one of which is of the Byzantine rite. There is no way the Catholic population of Lansford could support four church buildings and the ancillaries. The proof of my statement is the visible and rampant deterioration of all the buildings. Allowing the buildings simply to stand until they crumbled was not a choice because the taxing entities of school district, town, and county all wanted and received their thirty pieces of silver, making it difficult to support the remaining parish and its school. The remaining parish, St. Katharine Drexel, has about 850 members ... about 40 burials were done last year. (Do the math.) I find it ironically humorous to hear and read the pining done by families who moved from the Valley, some years ago, about the condition and demolition of the buildings. Perhaps if they would have stayed and supported the parishes maybe things could have been different. Maybe they could have bought a building at the offered low, low price since they were for sale for about three years. Come on folks, suck it up ... it's over. Memories are important, but the present and the future trump.
#2 Feb 23, 2012
They should raze the entire town, what a dump!
#3 Feb 23, 2012
St.Ann's is next.
#4 Feb 23, 2012
If it cannot be sold, it should be torn down. I find denying the school district, the town and the county tax money enjoyable.
Two of the three closed churches in Coaldale were sold. Ss. Cyril & Methodius's building should also come down ... St. Katharine Drexel parish inherited the building and the obligations, but many of the parishioners skedaddled to Tamaqua or Summit Hill.
#5 Feb 23, 2012
What are they going to use the sold churches for? I agree they should be torn down,if I owned buildings that realistically can't be sold,why keep paying taxes on them especially when they have ridiculously high assessments.
#6 Feb 24, 2012
St. Mary's in Coaldale is said to be used as a private residence/catering business. St. John's was purchased by the neighboring family - planned use is unknown to me.
The St. Ann Rectory in Lansford sustained water damage from broken pipes/no heat and is loaded with mold. It would cost more to fix it than the building is worth. Besides, whoever might buy the rectory must also take the empty church. BULLDOZER!
Hey, we have the old Lansford High School that was purchased for $150 sitting and slowly falling apart; however, the Borough brains are thinking of purchasing and using at least the parking lot for their supposedly planned "Taj Mahal" renovations to the outdated, outmoded, and outrageous Borough Hall. This is a plan that probably won't succeed for lack of - you guessed it - money. BULLDOZER!
Lansford could have a lot of parking spaces either by planned demolition or by long term gravity. I prefer the bulldozer method, but things will just sit and fall apart.
#7 Sep 10, 2014
St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Lansford is a splendid gem. Never have I seen such beautiful combinations of wall murals, stained glass and statuary. I imagined the widows over all the years that lovely Church has stood- whom have knelt in prayer surrounded by the reminders of Christ's sacrifice for us. In the sadness of life we need places like this. We need to see the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Can we too not sacrifice for him?
If every family (who cares) made the choice to skip eating one day a month; or chose to not eat out (as we did that day) and donate that money for repairs there could be a chance.
Let's spread the word. Send a donation today... St Katharine Drexel 124 E Abbott St
Lansford, PA 18232 Let's not loose this historic beauty.
8/8/2014 was the only day in my life to step foot on the property. We were in Pennsylvania from Utah (yes, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a Mormon) for family bereavement in a Lehighton Lutheran Church. We were in Lansford to pick up my Mom to visit with relatives. My 14 year old daughter needed to find a place to practice Boellmann's Priere a Notre-Dame and Tocatta. Though we had not time to obtain permission for her to play, we were able to take a look at the three manual pipe organ.
I was filled with joy from the beauty of this wonderful space. It felt Heaven sent. I was immediately impressed by the high quality craftmanship and artistic splendor yet at the same time saddened by the water damaged walls and ceiling and then the loose plaster that I could see filling one of the(ornamental?) pipes of the organ. I gave our family's go out to eat money for that day and it worked out that we didn't need it. I know that there can be a way. How can you help?
Can someone do a documentary, post a web page, or sell books of the coal country churches to encourage and recruit for their preservation? Especially the big beautiful one in Lansford with the clock tower? It is precious. Please help the people who are trying to keep this place of worship alive. From Janet, a 53 year old SAHM who lives 2000 miles away.
Show that you care. Help how you can.
#8 Sep 10, 2014
The estimated cost of restoring the church is $4 million. That's a lot of skipped meals. I appreciate your kind words and donation, but the parish has fewer than 350 active members - average age is in the retirement years. It appears this is a finished story.
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