After years of church closures in our area, more and more of them are being demolished.
That means former parishioners watching years of memories inside their house of worship turned into a pile of rubble, and that is what is happening now in Carbon County.
A stone that was hoisted into place 106 years ago fell to the ground Wednesday in Lansford. Workers are demolishing the former Saint Peter and Paul Church. The former school next door will also to be removed.
“We’re taking it down piecemeal til we can manage it with the machine so it’s safe and it doesn’t affect anyone in the neighborhood,” said demolition worker Jeff Mrakovich.
The demolition crew is amazed at how well the buildings are put together.
“They don’t build them like that anymore that`s for sure. It’s a pretty strong building. Just the way the masonry was done and the dedication that went into it,” said demolition worker Dave Spalld.
Diocese of Allentown officials said the structures are beyond repair.
Neighbor Tom Motish knows that. “It’s heartbreaking seeing any church come down, but there was water damage inside,” he said.
Others have memories of the complex and it’s painful to watch the project.
“I was an altar boy inside the church and just had a lot of fun in school. They were small classes and you knew everybody and you got to know the families,” said Paul Rokita of Lansford.
The demolition crew said it will take another month to completely take down Saint Peter and Paul Church along with the adjacent school. A spokesman for the Diocese of Allentown said officials are not sure what they will do with the empty lots.