by Catie O'Keefe,
Wow. What a rich history and that photo is beautiful--a picture is truly worth a thousand words. (Historic Review of Chestnut Street Church)
The fact that someone can name all the people in the photo is heart warming. Thanks, Loveland Magazine, for putting such effort into the reporting of this article and for making sure Loveland citizens are aware of what is going on with this historic landmark.
My question is: Where is the outcry about this? I am a newbie to the area and I am horrified about the potential demise of the church and spoke up about it at a recent city council meeting. While a few other people (like Paula Oguah) also spoke out, where was everybody else? It seems every time I have a conversation around here, people proudly tell me how many generations of their families have grown up in and around Loveland; there should be hundreds voicing opinions on this topic. In fact, if I had a nickel for every story I've been told, I could buy the church myself!
Lovelanders, it's time to defend. In the short time I've been here (three years) two of your oldest churches have been threatened with demolition.
Do you really want to allow important iconic symbols of your history to be lost? While new development of Loveland is great (and is one of the reasons we moved here) it absolutely can be done without mowing down old buildings. Look at some of the best city plans across the country and you will see old and new buildings woven together, creating a beautiful balance between a rich past and a future of innovation and progress.
While by no means do I think there is a nefarious plan afoot to wipe out Loveland's history, I feel a general sense of passivity by Loveland leadership and citizenry on the subject. More specifically, there is a lack of overall creativity in the vision for Loveland's future and a tendency to devalue ecclectic, organically evolving development in favor of knock down the old and worn and start all over with shiny buildings that have been design-guidelined into banality.
The photo of the proposed development ofLoveland Station in our historic downtown looks like Montgomery to me (nice city, but it's no Loveland).
The city is not necessarily going to help here and perhaps it's not its place. It's our place, as Loveland citizens, to come up with a viable solution that makes saving the church a win for everyone and not ask the city to foot the bill for it. It's not a pricey piece of property, and its modest .175 acre footprint is most certainly not blocking an entrance to any future development of the 8 city-owned acres it abuts. Chestnut Church stakeholders, please call a meeting and advertise it via Loveland Magazine and elsewhere and let's get a big group of smart people together, including city leadership if they are interested, and get some great ideas percolating.
Let's kill two birds with one stone: perhaps the folks interested in preserving the church on Third St., might want to join forces with the Chestnut group and work to save both these important buildings at one time.
Last, and this regards Martin Schickel's building downtown. Frankly, I hope he hangs onto that building. The economy and financing is stopping the downtown development, not his building. City leadership should have demanded that the new project incorporate some of the older buildings, such as his, into its design as a nod to Loveland's past. His building, opposite the old hotel anchoring the west end of the square offers balance and context. Preserving a few old buildings would have made for a more architecturally interesting project. When the square was completed people would go into town and marvel at the new shops but also say, "There's the old whatever building; my grandfather used to work there ... "
My husband and I have a contract on 108 S Third St., which is rumored to be the parsonage of the threatened Third St. Church. If it passes inspection and we take ownership of it, you better believe we will be researching its history and if it warrants it, gracing its lovely porch with a plaque that details its history.