The Church of the Assumption, at 12th and Spring Garden, is one of those enormous religious buildings most passersby take for granted. That huge thing? It's here. It'll be here. But it hasn't been that simple.
Once owned by the AIDS-advocacy organization Siloam, the church was in rather bad shape, and Siloam contended it was unable to raise the millions required to rescue the building from essentially collapsing around everyone's ears.
The Historical Commission gave the go-ahead for demolition; the Callowhill Neighborhood Association and the Preservation Alliance got angry and appealed to L&I; L&I affirmed Siloam hadn't tried hard enough to save the building and stopped demolition; Siloam took L&I to court; this week the court sided with Siloam, putting the church in the way of the wrecking ball once again.
Or maybe not. Ironically, now that Siloam has finally won the battle to get that demolition approval, it no longer needs it: The church doesn't belong to them anymore. It's now owned by Chinatown developer John Wei, who hasn't put forth his ideas for the property.
And so it continues...