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Old Central United Methodist Church to Come Down

Church front after theft of stained glass windows

$193,700 was the low bid for demolition of the former Central United Methodist Church at Griscom and Orthodox Streets.  The winning bidder has 60 days to complete the job after the contract is signed.  John Loftus, in this week’s Northeast Times has a recap of the events that lead up to this unfortunate ending to a wonderful building.

FGM (Frankford Group Ministry) bought the former Central United Methodist Church in the late 1990s, said Suzy Keenan, spokeswoman for the United Methodist Church’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. The church building, erected in the 1890s, remained home to the Methodist congregation through 2005, when it closed.

In 1992, (Rev. Thomas) Brooks said, the church’s tower, which could be seen throughout Frankford, was found to be unstable and dismantled. In 2008, FGM sank $70,000 into repairing a wall on the building’s Griscom Street side that is now buckling again.

Since the wall collapse last summer, thieves have stolen some of the building’s stained glass. Recently, about 100 stained-glass windows were photographed and removed. Brooks said the ministry will try to sell the pieces to raise money for the demolition.

You can read the entire story here.

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Northwood Civic Association Reorganizes

The Northwood Civic meeting on Tuesday, January 17th had about 20 people attending.  The board is continuing to organize itself with the new officers coming in.  President Joe Krause led the meeting.

The board has decided that the issue of 950 Filmore Street is now closed.

Frank Bennett

Frank Bennett, Vice President said the board is looking toward organizing committees within the civic to deal with specific issues.  The committees will be initiated by member interest and willingness to organize one.  Examples might be neighborhood cleanup, town watch, vacant property, welcome to the neighborhood etc.  If you are interested in organizing a committee, come to the next civic meeting and talk to a board member.

Tom McAvoy had previously volunteered to serve as Treasurer and his offer was accepted.  Walt Melbourne has volunteered to serve as Secretary.

Joe Menkevich

Joe Menkevich, raised the issue of transparency and the board responded that although they are in the beginning of the process, they fully intend to be completely transparent in their activities.  Future meetings will include a treasurer’s report and minutes of the last meeting.  They also indicated that proper procedure will be followed for speakers to be recognized by whoever is conducting the meeting for asking questions or making comments.

Jason Dawkins

Jason Dawkins, representing Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez spoke about the recent redistricting exercise which resulted in the change of representation in City Council of Northwood from Darrell Clarke to Ms. Sanchez.

Jason also noted that the former Central United Methodist Church building will in all likelihood be demolished, possibly as early as this week.

Edgardo Gonzalez, Legislative Assistant to State Representative Tony Payton spoke about the fate of the shuttered former Frankford Community Y.  He said there is interest in the property by The Center for Urban Theological Studies which is presently located in Hunting Park.  They are still in the process of making a decision but there is hope that the deal might go through.

The meeting was adjourned at 8PM.



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Salvaged Stained Glass Windows

As we previously reported, thieves have been making off with the stained glass windows from the former Central United Methodist Church building (1515 Orthodox Street) at every opportunity. It is very difficult to secure a building with a huge hole in the West wall.  The pictures below were taken to document the windows and also make it possible to recover them in the future.  They are unique, one of a kind creations and no reputable antique dealer would take them in, knowing they were stolen.  The pictures were taken by a volunteer.