COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia (KMTV) — The former St. Patrick's Church at 132 Baughn Street is set to be torn down. The property was purchased by the YMCA across the street and they now plan to use the lot for additional parking and a possible play area.
Community members are trying to save the building, as they say it's historic and an important asset to Council Bluffs.
"A lot of people were buried, married and baptized in that church and I think if we could keep the structure, there are people that would be happy to see it saved," Patricia Murphy, President of Preserve Council Bluffs said. "We don’t want to look at a picture of this church and see oh that’s what once was there. We want to have the structure there to remain for people to actually see it."
Murphy says the building is the only of it's architectural kind in the area. Preserve Council Bluffs is trying to let the YMCA let them raise the money to save and repurpose the building.
Residents of the neighborhood, are concerned about the rezoning of Baughn Street. They say if the area gets rezoned, it would impact an already congested street.
"My main concern and I believe the neighbors main concern is the closure of Baughn street and the impact it would have on harmony because as I understand it, if it were closed and parking was added on the west side all of the entrances for parking would be on harmony. So all of the cars that would be parking would come through there at some point where as this would relieve some of that parking," Tom Bouska, a resident of the area said.
Bouska said vacating Baughn street would impact the safety of families and children. The Council Bluffs city council had denied the measure but it's set to be reconsidered at the January 25 meeting.
"It’s being reconsidered which concerns us because the feedback that we’ve gotten is that they were going to be listening to the neighbors. We live here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year the people who use the Y, and it’s a good facility, aren’t here all the time so impact is really significant on those of us in the neighborhood," Bouska said.