Historic Church Conversion at 12th & Lombard?

Recently, we heard from a reader, wondering about the former church at the corner of 12th & Lombard. They noticed that the planters have disappeared and there's a lockbox on the door.

Former church

View from another angle

The building was previously home to the Saint Peter Claver Center for Evangelization until the Archdiocese shut it down late last year. The building actually has some interesting history, as it was originally home to the Saint Peter Claver Parish Church. According to the historical marker in front of the building, the church was dedicated in 1892 and named for a saint who fought the slave trade. More importantly, it was the first Catholic church in the city for African Americans.

With the building now vacant, it stands to reason that the property would have been sold to developers. But looking at public record, it's still in the hands of the Archdiocese. We even reached out to them to confirm and the property is indeed still in their hands. They will eventually market the property for sale and the "proceeds from any possible sale will be designated for the sole purpose of supporting ongoing ministry to the black Catholic community." Our hope is that once the building goes up for sale, it will be purchased by someone who can reuse the building, likely for residential use. We shed no tears when the Pain Center across the street was demolished in favor of homes, but this would be a tougher pill to swallow.

Newer homes across the street

For now, at least until the building goes up for sale, it will remain as we see it today. As for the future, we couldn't tell ya.