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Historic windows removed from Holy Cross Church on Indianapolis' near east side

Posted at 8:27 PM, Jul 08, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — A neighborhood landmark and a former place of worship in Indianapolis is being dismantled.

The Holy Cross Catholic Church on Indy's east side has sat empty for several years. The church has been part of the neighborhood for over 100 years, and people who live in the Holy Cross neighborhood say they can't imagine living in the Holy Cross neighborhood without the Holy Cross Church.

Now Holy Cross' stained glass windows are being moved to another church.

"All of our family has went to school here, church here, baptized here, funerals here, weddings here, it's a lot of history," John Heidelberger, who lives across the street from the Holy Cross Church.

Heidelberger's family has lived in the near east side neighborhood for 75 years. He says watching the 120-year-old Holy Cross Church be taken apart piece by piece is like losing a part of his family's history.

"I don't know what it's going to be like to look out the front door and not see the church if they are going to tear it down," Heidelberger said. "It's a strange thing."

For several years the church has been falling apart and sitting empty since the front facade collapsed in 2015, forcing the church to close its doors the following year.

The Indianapolis Archdiocese still owns the building and is now salvaging the church's parts including the historic stain glass windows, which are being moved to another church in southern Indiana.

Mark Dollase, with Indiana landmarks list, but says there is still hope for the neighborhood icon.

"There have been a couple of proposals already being discussed, primarily focused on housing," Dollase said. "We've talked about an event center going into the building. Something that would allow the space to continue in its current configuration."

While the Indiana Landmark's future is uncertain, repairing damages on the 120-year-old building will come at a price no cheaper than $2 million. However, folks who love the church would likely say you can't put a price on the history you planned to have in the future.

"My parents were married here; my mother's funeral was here. I thought my funeral would probably be here. I guess that ain't gonna happen now," Heidelberger said.