Resurrecting Abandoned Inner City Religious Buildings and Campuses as Community Amenities
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Once prevalent across the United States, churches acted as community anchors in the homogenized communities situated in cities across the country, providing a communal space for prayer, schooling and social services. With the major demographic shifts that occurred in American cities in the mid 20th century many of these neighborhoods faced major disinvestment and many churches either closed or followed their congregations to the suburbs. The grand intricately detailed architecture that could be found in the build ings of these church campuses was costly to maintain resulting in these sites becoming undesirable for smaller churches that often struggle to fundraise for building mainte nance. With dwindling numbers in their congregations, the result was abandonment. Cities today across the US lack large public communal spaces that can provide a vari ety of amenities such as those that were once provided through larger religious institutions. Through the creation of public spaces that can be used for a variety of purposes beyond programs with simply a religious focus, these sites can be re-engaged as viable community spaces. By also utilizing the surrounding landscape that often adjoins these buildings, users can experience paths that allow access to grand open spaces.
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