A local gentleman contacted me suggesting that former St. Patrick’s parishioners would be distressed by using Msgr. Thomas Wallace’s former crypt as a “macabre video-viewing space” (Sun Journal, May 22).

A phenomenal man, Msgr. Wallace contributed enormously to this community. St. Patrick’s Church was his lifeblood — he personally funded much of its construction and was its pastor until his passing in 1906. He would have been saddened by its closing in 2009, but even more so by the thought of this gorgeous building being leveled.

I, too, love this building and am doing everything in my power to save it. The costs of converting the former rectory into the Inn at the Agora and the church into the future Agora Grand are immense. Every possible revenue source must be tapped to save these historic masterpieces.

In 2009, Wallace’s body was moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery, leaving the crypt empty. It need not be wasted. It is beautifully ornate — and spooky. The space will be called the “Hotel Crypt” and rented as an adjunct to a room at the inn for entertainment value. Humans have a natural fear and fascination with death; the Hotel Crypt would allow people to indulge that fascination.

Its use as a private room for the living would be unique to New England (possibly the world) and could draw adventure-seeking tourists to Lewiston, a benefit to the community at large. All guests would be respectfully reminded of Wallace’s legacy.

Andrew Knight, Lewiston

Editor’s note: The author is the owner and developer of the Inn at the Agora, the former St. Patrick’s Church.


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