Local News

Historic parish house in Hope Mills to be torn down

Posted January 23, 2020 6:16 p.m. EST

— Efforts to save the parish house of a historic Hope Mills Church have come to an end.

The parish house of Christ Episcopal Church on Main Street was built in the early 1900s.

Town leaders voted 3-2 Thursday to tear the building down.

The concrete on its porch is cracking, and there are structural problems inside.

Despite that, some residents say its historic value makes it worth saving.

“I am somewhat disappointed,” said Rod MacLean of the Hope Mills Historical Society. “However, I had a feeling that this was going to be the result.”

Since the church was donated to the town in 2012, residents have tried to have it refurbished.

On Thursday, they brought the director of North Carolina’s Historic Preservation Foundation to help plead their case.

“Almost every building can be saved,” Cathleen Turner said. “It’s just a matter of the resources, initiatives, vision for adaptive uses and that sort of thing.”

MacLean said Hope Mills Historical Society has that vision.

“That is obviously going to be something like a wedding-type venue,” he said. “We would be able to provide a reception area.”

MacLean said the building could have some retail space or could become the town's museum.

But Mayor Jackie Warner says the cost to repair the building makes restoration too expensive.

“You’d have to bring it up to code,” she said. “You’d have to add whatever kind of seating you wanted in it. We estimate probably half a million dollars when it’s all said and done.”

The Historic Society put in a bid to buy the building and pay back the town what money it had invested in it, but that, too, was voted down.

The town plans to start tearing the building down Monday.

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