To the Editor:
Recently, The Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County wrote about their planned demolition of Troy’s Historical Trinity Episcopal Church. I would like to offer some clarifications. To begin with, the church is over 185 years old — not 135 years. Should you not know that before you arbitrarily tear it down?
In addition to being a sanctuary for slaves, the church hosted a speech by future President William Henry Harrison, is the last remaining building in Troy with a connection to the canal and Troy’s earliest surviving school. Prominent families associated with the church include the Overfields, Colemans, Hobarts, and Bravos.
The shelter consulted an architect, an historian, and a structural engineer about the church’s condition. As a building contractor for the past 40 years I can safely say that you consult a contractor about a building’s condition — not a historian. Unity for Trinity, a group of local preservationists, businesses, and residents of the Trinity Church neighborhood brought in a highly regarded preservation contractor who examined the building and concluded that it is in reasonably good condition and that any needed repairs would cost significantly less than $300,000 the shelter mentioned.
In addition, the shelter was shown how to expand their services at less cost than their current plan while keeping their operations in close proximity to the police, and allowing for future expansion. Why then do they not consider options? Because they admit that even a restored church does not meet their needs — this 185 year old structurally sound historically significant building is simply in their way.
While they may own the building, they do not own the history — that belongs to the people of Troy. And, respectfully, I do not understand or support their short sided plans.
— Martin Stewart
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