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Glad or Sad? St. Joseph's Church Demolition [VIDEO]

Our readers seem divided regarding the demolition of St. Joseph's Church. Where do you stand?

The demolition of Salem's St. Joseph's Church on Lafayette Street continued Thursday as demo crews tore down the rear quarter of the building.

On Wednesday afternoon, a small crowd gathered to watch the church's trademark steeple come down.

The ongoing demolition project has prompted many of our readers to share their feelings on Salem Patch and our comments section has featured a wide range of opinions on the issue.

Some have said they will miss their childhood church - others are excited about the upcoming construction of a new development in downtown Salem.

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Mike Blatty: Now I will never know where I left my car. :(

adrienne: <sigh> that steeple was the only thing pleasant to look at the neighborhood!

Lisa Connolly: I viewed it's grandeur from the other side, across the park, rising above Shetland. This will be sorely missed in my sight-line now. Sad day  : (

Azikiel F Mason: God is going to make the construction combines and the city pay for this one. The POINT is doomed.

Marie: This is a sin. I hope someone will regret this demolition.

doreen bedard: I agree alot of memories there from kindergarten thru high school

Misty: I'm not thrilled about affordable housing, but anything at all is better than a crackhead hangout- which is what it is now and has been for years. As long as someone does something with the property and is responsible for maintaining it, I'll be happy.

Thomas Vallor:I just think they should save the big Jesus statue on it. The rest of it is hardly historic enough to care so much about saving, the historic preservation organizations need to get their priorities straight.

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So, we have to ask: how do you feel about the demolition?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Jack Carver January 10, 2013 at 06:01 PM
To me the building was not historic, The buried Statue on the church grounds has some historical value and was worth looking for, I didn't see much in the way of any one look for it at all. I also wonder how the Catholic church can sell properties like this one. A property that was bought and paid for by the parishioners and not the church itself. Parishioners who for years prayed in a burned out cellar of the old church saving their money, going with out till they had enough money to build a new church.
pamela boucher January 10, 2013 at 06:55 PM
they should of left this church alone, it was the people that saved money to build it.
Mark Steele January 11, 2013 at 02:07 AM
I'm sad to see it go. It was a unique architectural building that will be missed. But when the question of who pays for it comes up, I guess the building has to go. Before the church was built there was another unique build on the site that was torn down to make room for it. I hope the new structure will be an asset to Salem and not just another nondescript building housing crappy store on the first floor and apartments on the upper floors. If so, this will be the legacy of our generation.
liz barker January 11, 2013 at 09:25 AM
Does the contractor know it a drug block of heroin users......I feel bad for be renters
melas January 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM
I'm sad because of what's coming in its place. Who looked at the Point neighborhood and said, "We need to expand this!" More low income apartments - not the city's finest decision.
Marie January 11, 2013 at 01:03 PM
What will be used to replace St. Joseph's Church will not be in the best interest of the Point or the city. After demolition, it should be left alone as an open area. God knows the city needs parking during the winter months when they declare snow emergencies. The open spaces could e used for the Lafayette Street residents.
Jack Carver January 11, 2013 at 03:27 PM
I saw Father John standing outside St Joes this Morning as they continued the destruction, He was wearing a hard hat.
Thomas Monaco January 11, 2013 at 09:46 PM
My 5 yr old Brother was buried from this church in 1975. My older brother was married from this church in 1981. What a sin for the catholic church to tear down a church that they had NO right to destroy. What a sin.
Paul Boudreau January 11, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Sad for the City really. As someone who went to school there, served as an altar boy of course I have personal ties. More than that though, this building was a testament to the strong French-Canadian influence last century. Like the building or not, it IS historically significant; both for it's International Style and for a physical reminder of French-Canadian contributions to the City of Salem. I'm sad to see it go. Preservation efforts started way too late.
Sarah NadeauEu January 12, 2013 at 04:01 PM
I am extremely sad to see St.Joseph's go. I grew up in that church, went to St Joseph's school for 10 years and worked there for 3. It's like your childhood is being torn down and being ripped away from you, and the dream you had as a child of being married there is now erased forever. Ever since the archdiocese closed the church my faith in being a Catholic has been slowly edging way from me and when they closed the school it has been nonexistent. I have so much anger towards the archdiocese, and for anyone who says it wasn't their fault wasn't there...it was not your second home like it was mine. @JackCarver, for him to be there in anyway is a disgrace to the St Joseph name. I am going down there today to see for the last time the place that has been so near and dear to my heart, and where it holds many childhood memories for my entire family. I will forever have a hole in my heart that only St Joseph's held.
Sarah Nadeau January 12, 2013 at 04:04 PM
I am extremely sad to see St.Joseph's go. I grew up in that church, went to St Joseph's school for 10 years and worked there for 3. It's like your childhood is being torn down and being ripped away from you, and the dream you had as a child of being married there is now erased forever. Ever since the archdiocese closed the church my faith in being a Catholic has been slowly edging way from me and when they closed the school it has been nonexistent. I have so much anger towards the archdiocese, and for anyone who says it wasn't their fault wasn't there...it was not your second home like it was mine. @JackCarver, for him to be there in anyway is a disgrace to the St Joseph name. I am going down there today to see for the last time the place that has been so near and dear to my heart, and where it holds many childhood memories for my entire family. I will forever have a hole in my heart that only St Joseph's held.
Karen January 13, 2013 at 03:09 AM
I am sad as well. I was married in there as well by Father John. He had left the parish but came back to marry my husband and I. It just doesn't feel right. To see the gold alter standing in the half torn down mess made me so sad. Now that is gone too. I'm sad that I won't be able to share with my children's children (someday) where I was married. :(
Marie Chalifour Cahill January 13, 2013 at 04:00 AM
I am saddened to see the demolition of St. Joseph's Church. This was such a beautiful church. I attended St Joseph's grammar school, as well as the academy. I sang in the choir there, was confirmed there and was also married in this church over 50 years ago. I was sorry when it was closed, I am heartbroken to see it destroyed. So sad.
Bob January 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM
I'm glad they finally tore down that eyesore. Next they should keep going down Ward and peabody st.
Paul kapnis January 14, 2013 at 03:04 PM
The church building was a mystical palace for people to get away to from the everyday busy life of big French families. My memere had many children and sought solace to going to this mystical quiet place almost everyday. Who wouldn't enjoy the solitude this structure provided? The era was a time when most French families did not have cars and everything was local. So who wouldn't want to leave their tiny apartment with big families just to get away for a while where in a mostly dark atmosphere bits of many colors streamed down from the thinly lit stained glass windows with the quiet murmer of prayers being heard As votive candles are lit from side altars.. This was a "get away palace just steps away from everyday reality,everyday homes and streets, I believe that people lament today about the french community losing their church But memere and her french generation are gone now. Im sorry for the ones who are still living to witness the razing of a structure that housed so many peoples prayers and dreams and for them a place to get away in a place that offered solitude in a mystical surrounding
pk January 14, 2013 at 03:34 PM
That's what it was to you. To the corporation which owned it, it was an asset. Assets which become money-losers are cut.
Ellen kozik January 15, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Didn't the city already build housing on the corner of Congress and whatever that street is...yellow ones...they sat empty for years..are they still empty?..they even had a lottery for people to rent them..why on earth would they build more?? I've moved out of Salem..are the idiot people that work at city really that dumb..who the Hell would pay good money to live in a run down, drug addicted neighborhood...i ask you..who?
Thomas Monaco January 15, 2013 at 08:54 PM
Obama voters. That's who
linda bracken March 17, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Very very sad to see it go. I grew up in tht church. I have a lot of family memories there. To me it was a beautiful structure! What else is beautiful on lafayette st? NOTHING

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