Group pushing to save Holy Rosary Church from demolition

TACOMA, Wash. -- Thursday, hundreds of people filled the Holy Rosary Church School Auditorium to talk about how they can save the nearly 100-year-old deteriorating church.

This past weekend, the Archdiocese of Seattle announced they would permanently close and demolish the Holy Rosary Church. The structure has sat closed for months due to unsafe conditions, however, a small group in Tacoma is working to re-open the church.

“We want all of Tacoma to come out and help us save it,” said Jonathan Carp.

Carp is a board member for Save Tacoma’s Landmark Church. On Thursday, the group held a meeting to talk about the future of the iconic church with about 200 members of the community.

Carp says the goal of Save Tacoma’s Landmark Church is to raise enough money and awareness to keep the structure open.

In the decree from Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, it states to re-occupy the building would cost $2.25 million. The decree states, the cost of necessary other repairs in the future would cost an additional $6.7 million dollars.

Finally, the decree states the total cost to repair the church interior and exterior would be approximately $17.7 million dollars.

Read the full decree

“It is a lot of money, and it’s going to take a long time, but we don’t think it’s going to take nearly as long as the archdiocese thinks,” said Jonathan Carp.

However, church officials say saving Holy Rosary is more than just raising the money.

In the decree, Sartain says, “A question must be asked, as well: Even if the financial resources could be identified, is it the best use of almost $18 million to repair one church serving a small and declining community of faithful, when there are so many other pressing human needs in the area?”

Carp says this church is important to the entire city.

“The church isn’t just for the parishioners, it’s for all of Tacoma,” he said.

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards attended Thursday’s meeting. She says Holy Rosary Church is number 14 on the city’s list of historic landmarks.

Woodards says if the Archdiocese goes through with demolishing the structure the decision would have to go through the city.