When I go to church these days, I have to walk on makeshift sidewalks alongside walls of plywood boards that surround a construction area, and underneath heavy-duty scaffolding that juts out over the buildingâ€™s front steps and up to the base of the steeple. When Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was built by German immigrants 100 years ago, it stood alone on the block; now luxury condominiums are boxing us in.
A preservationist says it will cost $8 million to repair our church, give or take a million. The stained glass windows have already been removed because of the danger of breakage during the construction next door. The steeple alone, leaning to one side, will cost over a million to repair. â€śItâ€™s a substantial building,â€ť the preservationist said when he delivered the news. Sometimes I curse this substantial building as an albatross, a black hole, a money pit.