April 11, 2011 1:56:00 PM
The effort to save Friendship House could not have been possible without the valiant efforts of so many in the community. My deepest appreciation for all media coverage, in particular The Commercial Dispatch for its front page coverage and the editorial so well written that we can only hope others will look beyond the moment and see it for the jewel that it can once again become.
A distinct honor was given to our fair city several years ago when the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Columbus one of its 12 Distinctive Destinations in America. Columbus is known for its lovely ante-bellum and Victorian homes. Over the years our citizens have made a commitment to the restoration and preservation of as many of these historic homes as possible, many of which are on the National Register.
Several offers have been presented to First Baptist Church officials for the purchase of the Nationally Registered Friendship House. These offers were first presented beginning the first part of February, well before the March 28th demolition permit was let.
These offers have yielded no official replies and a rejection of any on-going negotiations. Without a starting bid it was difficult to hone in on an offer that would be acceptable to the church yet fair to the purchaser.
There are several prospective buyers in the wings awaiting a reconsideration by First Baptist Church. It would be valiant of the Church to reverse their decision so Friendship House can be restored to its days of a gone-by era where the elegance and beauty of this grand southern lady offered hospitality to friends and famed visitors alike and it could once again take its regal place on Seventh Street North alongside the beautiful First Baptist Church.