The stately brick building on First Street that was once a church and is now a rectory for priests of Assumption church has undergone a facelift for the past three months as part of the parish’s Renew and Rebuild program. Built in 1859 as Assumption Church, the natural brick exterior of the building was painted white decades ago.
Fr. Estaban Sanchez, pastor, said initial plans were for a new paint job but then after talking with city officials they decided the building would look better restored to its original brick rather than painting and in doing so, bring some of its history center stage. The laborious work of removing the paint became the focus of the project. There are seven layers of paint which need to be treated with a chemical first and then, two days later, paint starts being scraped off. They had planned to have the building completely paint free by Christmas but cold weather and snow stalled the project. Sanchez said he expects part of the building facing Union Avenue to be done by the end of the year and the side along the driveway will be completed in the spring.
In 1917 the congregation outgrew the space at the church on Union Ave and First Street and moved across the street to the Guardian Building where it is today. The church was then converted to a living quarters and so two additional floors were added internally.
By Regina Clarkin