Unitarian Church is crumbling
The heart of Fairhaven’s architecture is failing and facing a bleak future.
While visiting the English Gothic Unitarian Memorial Church during the Old Time Holiday events, I was alarmed at the deterioration of the Church. One of Henry Huttleston Rogers’s gifts to Fairhaven, and his church, it is the finest example of such architecture in America, built of granite taken from the Rogers estate near Fort Phoenix.
Since Juliet had not seen the interior, and I had not been in the Sanctuary for over a dozen years, we were alarmed by mortar falling down from the soft limestone interior and Juliet having to brush it off her clothes. I took a photo of one of the pew seats and you could see the limestone and cement debris As Church attendance shrinks and I’m sure the Unitarian Society has as well, I’m sure the society has been doing its best to keep abreast of repairs. Most likely the roof needs to be replaced to start…and what do you find underneath?
I guess it would take millions to make permanent repairs to the church and seal it from the entering moisture. I think the [Fairhaven] selectmen should ask the Unitarian Society if a committee of town residents can be formed to study the problems and find a solution.
Would one answer be deeding the church to the town to allow it to be used as a multi denomination church and museum/performance center?
Mike and Juliet Merolla, Fairhaven
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