Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Fenton Urges Preservation of Our Lady of Hope Church
SPRINGFIELD—Ward 2 City Council candidate Michael Fenton has called for the Our Lady of Hope Church on Armory Street to be declared a historic district in light of the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese’s recent decision to close the parish.
“I grew up at that church and its closing deeply affects me on a personal level.” Fenton hopes the diocese will reconsider. Failing that Fenton says, “I hope that this beautiful and historic building, which has been an anchor of the community for so long, remains preserved regardless of what future purpose it might have.”
Fenton believes Our Lady of Hope will continue to have a presence in Ward 2 for many years to come. The Church could be converted to community space for events like local art or theater. “There are a number of reuses for such a building that we should begin considering now and by working with the Historic Commission and the Diocese of Springfield today we can be sure that Our Lady of Hope will, in some way, be with us tomorrow.”