L. Alessio: Save a valuable Maine resource

According to Fr. Joseph A. Sirba (AD2000.com), “one out of every 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic.”

I am one.

Nevertheless, like many people driving by the handsome, imposing facade of the vacant St. Joseph’s Church on Main Street in Lewiston, I am saddened at the thought of losing that prominent, historic landmark of the state’s heritage.

Its beauty transcends changing religious views and populations.

I wonder if a creative compromise can conserve something of the building’s profile in the city’s center and its silhouette in the city’s skyline.

An idea: given an imaginative architect, someone who shares admiration for this structure, a respect for both its aesthetic and personal importance, and recognition of Central Maine Medical Center’s practical necessities, could the facade of the building be preserved?

By maintaining the frontage of the building and its two lovely turrets, turning the street-side landscaping into a small park, perhaps with elevated viewing balcony, and replacing the church doors with walkways, could the most visible, memorable and beautiful features of this monument to the Twin City’s heritage be maintained?

The sale of many architectural features would fund much of the the structure’s revitalization.

CMMC would gain the good will of the community, as well as a magnificent gateway to a hidden parking lot in back; the city would gain a permanent remembrance of its culture and avoid another downtown, blacktop blot; and a valuable Maine resource would remain for future generations to admire and esteem.

Lew Alessio, Greene

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Comments

Brian Franck's picture

Leech!

A leech or a blood sucker just sucks the life out of its host until there is nothing left of value. There are those of us who want to bring life back to St. Joseph's Church. Too bad you don't want to be a part of that!

MARK GRAVE's picture

One more time, who will pay

One more time, who will pay the bills? Surely you know.

Hoo Hoo

Another beer from the Hooter's gal. Thanks.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You mean you're going to

You mean you're going to bring the congregation back and make it a living church again? Man, you're smaaaht.

Brian Franck's picture

No, I am not going to bring back the congregation again!

And create "a living church"? I don't think so. They are just some of us out there who do not want this building eradicated! Consider that only a few years ago Lewiston lost the United Baptist Church. No work of art replaced it, just a parking lot exposing the barren brick walls of a business. It will appear even more ridiculous if another church right across the street is leveled to the ground just for creating additional empty space! Look at what else has been lost: the Empire Theater, the DeWitt Hotel, Pine Street Congregational Church and the Bates Street Baptist Church. Oh, and I do believe the word is spelled "smart"!

And there's more...

The Grace Lutheran church... Now who do we know who razed it?

MARK GRAVE's picture

Again, in your grand plan,

Again, in your grand plan, who pays the bill?

What, is that a sucking sound I hear?

Hoo Hoo

Hoo, Hoo, said the inebriated owl.

In the host community of Lewiston.... There is a...

Like a parasitic wasp larvae in the body of a caterpillar.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You are a man of vision. We

You are a man of vision. We have the money; as long as it's taken from someone else.

Brian Franck's picture

Who is this "man of vision"?

You certainly do not mean Mr. Gravel, do you? If you have the money, why aren't you giving it as well?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Don't worry it isn't you.

Don't worry it isn't you. Your reputation remains intact.

Brian Franck's picture

I am not going to worry, but perhaps you should!

The only thing that rings true here is that both Mr. Gravel and Mr. St. Jean have a "reputation" for making continuous stupid comments!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What I'd like to know is

What I'd like to know is would Lindsey and Franck be saying all of these nasty and insulting things to Mr. Gravel and me (no Brian, it isn't "I") if the four of us were in the same room together? I suspect the conversation might go a bit more cordially.

Maybe... Maybe not if

All this talk of "looking you up" holds true.

Brian Franck's picture

How could a civil conversation...

How could a civil conversation be conducted with the likes of Mr. St. Jean and Mr. Gravel? Mr. Lindsey and I are not accustomed to addressing individuals with low mental aspirations. Come to the August meeting of the Lewiston Historic Preservation Review Board and we will find out!

MARK GRAVE's picture

A reputation trolling for

A reputation trolling for zombies, and boy did we attract a couple for rotting corpses with a crumb.

Pants on fyre.

Maybe it was the acrid smell of your pants burning?

Brian Franck's picture

Isn't that interesting?

Just the other day someone out of state who follows the Opinion page online referred to both Mr. Gravel and Mr. St. Jean as "trolls"! This individual observed that both Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb "flip" from letter to letter ready to pounce by offering immediate argumentative comments to anything a writer might say. I guess some people have just too much time on their hands!

MARK GRAVE's picture

When the right is right, the

When the right is right, the left is wrong and wine is spelt with an "h", it is an obligation to point this out.

Brian Franck's picture

No!

Wine is not spelled with an "h" in it, particularly if it is to be consumed with cheese!

MARK GRAVE's picture

Then I guess we are not

Then I guess we are not speaking about whine that is consumed with curds here.

Brian Franck's picture

Curds?

Your buddy, Mr. St. Jean, was speaking of cheese with wine! Do you even bother to read his comments?

MARK GRAVE's picture

Perhaps the great St. Jean is

Perhaps the great St. Jean is talking about Smegma cheese.

Brian Franck's picture

The "great" St. Jean?

Boy, do you put him on a pedestal! Speaking of the "lowly" St. Jean, do you guys rotate the times when you both add your mundane comments to letters to the editor? What shift do you take, Mr. Gravel?

MARK GRAVE's picture

Because I don't really care

Because I don't really care about St. Joseph's.

Brian Franck's picture

Ah, haa! Finally, the truth comes out!

I knew it all along! So, Mr. Gravel, why do you continue to vent on this matter? All your verbiage is useless claptrap anyway!

MARK GRAVE's picture

My speculation that is why it

My speculation that is why it is not openly discussed. Moreover, the stage is being set to make CMMC the villain to justify the demand they pay. Typical Al Sharpton shakedown.

Brian Franck's picture

I don't think that Al

I don't think that Al Sharpton cares for Catholic or Gothic designed churches.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What a racist thing to say.

What a racist thing to say.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Probably not, but he is a

Probably not, but he is a master at extorting money. That was the connection you should have made.

Brian Franck's picture

I was not trying to make any

I was not trying to make any connection at all!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Street mugging comes to mind.

Street mugging comes to mind.

Brian Franck's picture

I do not intend to mug anyone

I do not intend to mug anyone just because they disagree with my opinions, even you, Mr. St. Jean.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Then who do you expect will

Then who do you expect will pay the bill to restore and maintain St. Joseph's church???

Hoo Hoo

Here's that waitress again with another beer for me.

Brian Franck's picture

There he goes again, always harping about money!

This Mr. Gravel is really getting quite boring with his one track mind oratory!

MARK GRAVE's picture

When you are talking with

When you are talking with kids, you need to repeat basic concepts from time to time for reinforcement; kids tend to forget.

Brian Franck's picture

But, you are addressing adults, not kids!

We got your obnoxious message about "money" the first time. There is no need to tediously repeat yourself!

MARK GRAVE's picture

Yet you are no closer today

Yet you are no closer today with financing your grand St. Joseph’s salvation plan that you were a month ago. Keep those prays going.

Brian Franck's picture

I do not have a grand plan!

I will leave the fundraising to you, since you won't drop the subject of money! I believe the word is spelled "prayers". Consult your dictionary before you write again!

MARK GRAVE's picture

Keep up that praying because

Keep up that praying because that is your only payday.

Brian Franck's picture

And...how do you know that?

Do you have a crystal ball or something similar allowing you to look into the future? You seem to know the outcome already of whether St. Joseph's Church will be allowed to remain intact or be torn to the ground! Well, at least you spelled "praying" correctly! Oh, and yes, when is "payday"? Do you pay by the hour or week?

Mr. Gravel's mantra..

Maybe he should consider he's not talking to children... or political acolytes...

If he elevated his dialogue, he might further his message.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

That would be a wise decision

That would be a wise decision on your part.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Yet you want to save St.

Yet you want to save St. Joseph's using money not your own. That is a mugging in most anyone's opinion.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

In summary, the Pirate is not

In summary, the Pirate is not opposed to St. Joseph's Church continuing to stand where is, as is, or be converted to whatever its owners choose the results of that conversion will be. I would like to see it saved, but if a parking lot it becomes, my life will not be directly affected in any way. (Isn't that what our gay brothers and sisters would like us to believe about same sex marriage?)
Having said all that, the reality of the situation is that whether the church continues to stand, or becomes Lewiston's next parking lot, the odds in favor or against either option never have been and likely never will be any better than 50-50. 50-50; is that worth all this emotion? Of course, the answer is yes and no.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Moreover, no one has answer a

Moreover, no one has answer a very basic question. Who will pay for reiteration and ongoing maintenance? Please tell me who?

Hooty and the

Hoo Hoo... You sound like a Hooters waitress bringing me beer.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Many will challenge me, but

Many will challenge me, but there can be only one answer; whoever owns it.

MARK GRAVE's picture

You have perfectly applied

You have perfectly applied the deep pocket theory.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You're too kind, sir.

You're too kind, sir.

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