This abandoned church at 331 E. Bethune has seen better days. What was once a mighty cathedral in a macabre North-End community is now little more than a haven for stray dogs and a gold mine for scavengers.
Neighbors told the Abandoned Structure Squad that suspicious crews (some, apparently posing as city workers) have been looting the church. Some have even rammed the church with trucks to jar loose good bricks, which inevitably come crashing down into the street creating rubble. Fires have been set, and Brenda Glover — who lives across the street — says men have been seen carrying large support beams out of the building in broad daylight.
The church, which has changed names several times since it was built in 1903, is now in the hands of the NorthEnd Youth Improvement Council, headed by Delores Bennett. Her group plans to build a youth refuge for needy children once the church is demolished. City officials tell A.S.S. that demolition is scheduled for next week.
Unless the looters make off with everything — including all the bricks — before then.
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