Thursday, December 10, 2009

German Church Road's German Church Threatened

German Church Road on the far east side of Indianapolis got its name from St. John's Church (pictured). Built in 1914, St. John’s is the German Church. The congregation, dating to the 1850s, was originally comprised primarily of German immigrants who farmed the surrounding area. The present building, originally known as Deutsche Evangelische St. Johannes Kirche, is the third structure on the site. Its Tudor Gothic Revival architecture and stained glass windows mark it as the “gateway” to the community of Cumberland.

According to the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, a developer has offered St. John’s congregation a "significant amount" for the property. Historic Landmarks Foundation has filed for emergency designation of the church by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission.

The Cumberland Town Council unanimously passed a resolution favoring preservation of the structure, and Indianapolis City-County Councilor Benjamin Hunter submitted a letter supporting the preservation plan. Negotiations for compromise continue with the developer's representatives, though so far no resolution has been achieved.

UPDATE (3 February 2010):
The Metropolitan Development Commission has approved an emergency motion to protect a 1914 church at the northeast corner of Washington Street and German Church Road, Indianapolis (source).


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