Commission denies request to tear down St. Paul's

By Krystal Allan – bio | email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - The Hancock Bank annex building could barely hold the crowd that came out to save St. Paul's from being torn down.  Passionate parishioners and residents voiced their pleas, Wednesday night, to the Pass Christian Historical Preservation Commission.

Residents spoke of the church being a beacon for people in Pass Christian.  A church building, though not the current one, has sat on the property since 1844, making it one of the oldest properties in Pass Christian.

No one with the Catholic Diocese acknowledged themselves as being in attendance.  Though the Diocese made the call to tear down the building, J.O Collins Contractor Inc., had to file the application for the request.  The owner, Charles Collins, said he wasn't there to speak in favor or against the application. He said he was simply hired to do the job.

During the meeting, no one spoke in favor of tearing down the building.  Ultimately, the commission voted unanimously to deny the application to tear down St. Paul's based on its ordinance guidelines.

The guidelines, it said, required the commission to act responsibility to retain the community's heritage, use a property for its originally intended purpose and insure that the district not be injuriously affected.

The Catholic Diocese has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Pass Christian Board of Aldermen.

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