Former church set for deconstruction

The former Pilgrim Collegiate Church on the corner of Wick and Lincoln avenues will be deconstructed over the holiday break.

The church, which sits on a prominent piece of property across from Jones Hall, was acquired by YSU in 2008 and has sat vacant without a congregation for four years. Gene Grilli, vice president for Administration and Finance, said the administration and community have explored several potential uses for the facility, none of which were deemed feasible. A joint university-community committee sought proposals for uses of the structure. Again, none were forthcoming, he said.

“We understand the emotions that sometimes can be involved in decisions to deconstruct buildings on campus; those emotions are particularly difficult when the building is an old church,” he said.

John Hyden, executive director of Facilities, said the large stained glass windows in the church have been removed per the sales agreement with the original congregation that occupied the building. Other items inside the church, including the smaller stained glass windows, chandeliers, a pipe organ, pews and other woodwork, have been sold for reuse in other off campus projects.

Grilli said YSU remains committed to preserving Youngstown’s historic fabric. He noted that several years ago YSU restored the Church of Christ Science on Spring Street (now the Sweeney Welcome Center) and collaborated with the Butler Institute of American Art to improve landscaping and utilities serving the former First Christian Church Disciples on Wick Avenue. He also noted that YSU recently made improvements to Coffelt Hall, historically an American Legion hall, and just this fall completed a full restoration of the historic Pollock House on Wick Avenue.

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