WCJB TV–Will St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Florida Be Torn Down to Build a Walgreen's?

A landmark church in Northwest Gainesville might be torn down and replaced with a Walgreen’s.

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church was designed in the seventies by Nils M. Schweizer, a student of the famous architect Frank Loyd Wright.
And some members of the community are fighting to save what they consider a spiritual and architectural treasure.

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is a mid-century modern building featuring a column-less design. It’s home to a congregation of about 100 people and the idea of it being torn down is very upsetting to some long time community and church members.

Susan Halbert has been a member of the church for 15 years. She said, “To tear down a beautiful church to put another drugstore was a real disappointment to me.”Bishop Samuel Johnson Howard of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida made the announcement last month that a contingent contract had been signed with Walgreen’s to sell the property.Halbert said, “It would be futile to speculate on why he made this decision, but for me personally it’s a devestating thing.” Some church members are struggling with the idea of losing the building they consider they’re spiritual home.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Housing/Real Estate Market, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes

2 comments on “WCJB TV–Will St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Florida Be Torn Down to Build a Walgreen's?

  1. stevejax says:

    Just a little background. The vast majority of it’s former members formed the Servants of Christ Anglican Church (one of the 20+ churches that left the Diocese since ++Johnson’s ordination nearly a decade ago. ++ Stephen Jecko served there as the rector in the late 80’s and early 90’s before he was elected Bishop. (Maybe this plays a role in the curren’t Bishop’s decision to sell to Walgreens ??)

    My wife and a I attended there after we married and I was still attending school attending UF. The interior is a bit “groovey” but that does not warrent it’s destruction 🙂 especially for a Walgreens — even if it is a prime piece of real estate.

  2. RomeAnglican says:

    The membership of “about 100” is actually 40 or less, according to their official parish charts. This is another direct result of Bishop Howard’s scorched-parish strategy, driving away all the orthodox. I guess the pretense of his “saving these buildings for future Episcopalians” has morphed into something more like “destroying a diocese in order to save it.”