Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Church of CVS?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 10:45 AM

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After an email campaign last week, Memphis Heritage thought CVS was reconsidering its proposal to demolish the Union Avenue Methodist Church to build a pharmacy.

CVS has an agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to not demolish any buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, of which the church, locally across the street from an Ike's, is one.

"Last Friday, we got the paperwork to verify it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We thought we were heading into the clear," says Memphis Heritage head June West. "Lately, CVS isn't returning calls, and we haven't seen any movement locally [to pull the demolition permit.]"

With that in mind, members of Memphis Heritage plan to attend the next Land Use Control Board meeting, tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the City Council chambers, to speak against the proposal.

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West says the reasons for preserving the church are many.

"It already presents the good urban design we want to see in the Midtown Overlay," West says. "It's on an urban corner; it's pulled up to the street; and it complements Playhouse on the Square."

In addition, she says there are other options besides demolition.

"Other people are interested in purchasing the church and want to restore it."

West hasn't been in the building in years, but has seen recent photos.

"It's clear that there's not an outrageous amount of structural damage," West says. "It's gorgeous."

(I've tagged this under "environment" — the built environment.)

Photos by Leigh Gilliland.

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