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'Demolition by neglect': Concerns about future of historic Holy Cross Church complex

The sanctuary on Indianapolis' near east side has been empty for a decade.
Church of the Holy Cross
Posted at 8:10 PM, Mar 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-15 11:29:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Church of the Holy Cross has stood tall over its namesake community since 1905, but neighbors and preservationists are now concerned the church could soon face the wrecking ball.

The Holy Cross Neighborhood Association started a petition this week to save the church from possible demolition. They said more than 500 people have signed it.

"To demolish something as beautiful as this bell tower and what it could be would be a shame," said Matt McCreery, who lives in the neighborhood and signed the petition. "There's a lot of community identity that would be lost if it were gone."

The church on Ohio and Oriental closed in 2014 when the Archdiocese of Indianapolis merged the dwindling community with the St. Philip Neri Parish. The complex is now fully vacant after the Holy Cross School closed last year.

Statewide preservation group Indiana Landmarks named the Holy Cross Church as an endangered building in 2019. They remain concerned about the future of the church.

"We think it's just too important of a place to lose," said Mark Dollase of Indiana Landmarks. "It's demolition by neglect, where the building is allowed to just sit and decay and deteriorate."

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis still owns the complex. In a statement to WRTV, they said:

The leadership of St. Philip Neri Parish is in the final stages of determining the future of the Holy Cross campus.

There will be announcement when details are finalized.

-Mike Krokos, Archdiocese of Indianapolis Office of Communications

Dollase is optimistic the right developer can come along and save Holy Cross considering how Indiana Landmarks revitalized a similarly abandoned church.

"This has really become a true asset for this community, and I think Holy Cross could be, too," Dollase said.