Tacoma landmark church to be demolished

The decision about the Holy Rosary Catholic Church was announced during Saturday evening Mass.

Associated Press

TACOMA — A landmark Catholic church in Tacoma will be demolished, church officials said.

The decision about the Holy Rosary Catholic Church was announced during Saturday evening Mass by the Archdiocese of Seattle, the News Tribune reported.

The Archdiocese said the church is too dangerous to occupy and needs millions of dollars in repairs.

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain has issued a decree to permanently close the structure.

An appeal can be made within 10 days of the decree’s issuance, according to the Archdiocese.

Locals have gathered at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary for more than 125 years for Mass, funerals and weddings.

The original wooden church build by German immigrants is long gone. Its masonry replacement, which was completed in 1920 and has a blue interior and a 210-foot (64-meter) steeple, became a Tacoma landmark.

“It’s been an architectural monument since it was built,” said parishioner Thom Ryng.

The Archdiocese said it spent more than 800 hours with contractors analyzing and examining the church. The demolition was recommended by an advisory team.

Since November, Mass and other services have been held in an auditorium next to the church. The move was made after a 5-foot-by-5-foot (1.5-meter-by-1.5-meter) piece of ceiling plaster fell on the choir loft.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Helen McClenahan said it would cost an estimated $7 million in repairs to re-occupy the building, and a total of $18 million for all necessary repairs.

The church underwent its last major renovation work in 1994. That work included a new $500,000 copper roof for the steeple.

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