x

WNEP.com | News, Weather & Sports from WNEP-TV — Proud to Serve Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania

Goodbye To A Century-Old Church

WILKES-BARRE — After some delays, a former church in Wilkes-Barre is finally being torn down. Demolition of the Holy Trinity Lithuanian Church on East Sou...
wb church I

WILKES-BARRE -- After some delays, a former church in Wilkes-Barre is finally being torn down.

Demolition of the Holy Trinity Lithuanian Church on East South Street was originally scheduled to begin Monday.

The snowy weather on Monday and then wind conditions on Tuesday delayed the start of demolition of this church that closed in 2010.

As demolition finally got underway, some people in the community came to say goodbye.

Piece by piece, brick by brick, crews are beginning demolition on the Holy Trinity Lithuanian Church on East South Street in Wilkes-Barre

"It's not like you see on TV with an exploding implosion. It's not like that, just machine work," said Jason Klush, a member of Stell Enterprises demolition crew.

The Diocese of Scranton closed the church in 2010 as part of a consolidation.

The crews are expected to spend the first week just taking down smaller structures on the church like its crosses, angels, and even the church steps.

Goodbye To A Century-Old Church

"You can see the steeples; we are going to work that by hands and saws. Then when we get to the brick, we'll have hammers, just hand and air hammers, and we'll bust some of the brick down," Klush said.

The demolition crew members say it will take three to four weeks to level this church that has been around for more than a century. But people who are standing by to watch say it's about more than just seeing bricks and mortar torn down.

"I went to school that was here for eight years and I belonged to the church, and I got married in the church," said Irene McKenna.

McKenna is visiting from Florida, but grew up in the area and went to church at Holy Trinity. She says she has many memories there.

"My ancestors were here, my grandfather and my grandmother, and they were part of building the church. And my mom, she cleaned the church for over 40 years. She was the last person to lock the doors when they closed the church."

Crews took down some of the crosses and decorative statues carefully. There's no word on whether those pieces may be reused at other churches.

The Diocese of Scranton says it plans to sell the property once the church is demolished.