125-year-old Marion church saved from demolition

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -A Marion church building devastated by the 2020 derecho will get new life.

The building in Uptown was originally home to Marion Methodist Church until they moved to their new facility. Then, about a year before the derecho the congregation from the Pentecostals of Greater Cedar Rapids moved in. Since the storm the church has sat empty.

”If you take away our historic buildings one at a time then at some point you lose the soul of the community,” said Nick AbouAssaly, Mayor of Marion.

Once filled with people from Sunday mornings to weddings, the church has seen better days. It’s lead to difficulty finding a buyer which put demolition on the horizon. That’s something Mayor AbouAssaly couldn’t bear.

”I would have seen it as a personal failure as the mayor of this city to be honest,” he explained. He pushed for more time in hopes of finding a buyer.

Conlon Construction closed on the building last week, purchasing the property for $98,000 dollars after another buyer fell through.

”What really I’ll say got me to the point of saying let’s go ahead and do this is I would say the Mayor has a lot of passion about that building and that was relayed and obviously he’s representing the community of Marion,” said Matthew Mulligan, President of Conlon Construction.

Brooke Prouty, the Director of the Main Street Program in Marion said the it’s fitting in a community whose motto is to ‘Reach Higher.’

”This is one of the highest points in Marion is the bell tower and so to be able to save this means a lot to our community,” she explained.

It’s unknown at this point what the building will turn into.

”I envision the next 4 or 5 months is really just dreaming what would be a great addition and then we’re going to get after it,” said Mulligan.

A committee of around ten people will be put together to help generate ideas for the space in the coming months.

”You know there’s lots of good ideas about what you can do with a building like this but none of those ideas mattered until we saved the building first,” Mayor AbouAssaly said.

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