April 8, 2011 12:57:00 PM
The days appear numbered for the Friendship House. The historic two-story 1890 home, located on Seventh Street North across from the Lee Home and the current Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, is slated for demolition by its current owner, First Baptist Church.
The once-stately Victorian home has been allowed to fall into disrepair by First Baptist. At least one prospective buyer, however, has offered to buy the home with the intent of restoring it. The church didn''t bite at that offer, and has ignored other calls of inquiry regarding the property in past months.
The church, which is moving out of its own Seventh Street home to a new campus on Bluecutt Road, instead wants to sell all its downtown properties to a single buyer, rather than parcel them out.
Church leaders are intent on demolishing the home. Folks, they don''t make houses like that anymore. Those who have walked through the home say it''s run-down, but is solid and could be renovated, or even moved off its current lot.
Church leaders have been tight-lipped about why they seem so determined to demolish the house, so we can only speculate they see more value in a parking lot or a commercial space than preserving a historic Columbus home.
That''s the church''s right. But we believe that Columbus'' historic homes are a community treasure, and every effort should be made to preserve them. This is a home worth saving. The church can conduct its business in ways it sees fit. But we hold out hope that church leaders will make every effort to save this community resource.
As the parable goes, this isn''t a house built on sand. It has a solid foundation. We wonder if the same can be said about the church''s decision to destroy a piece of Columbus history.