Strip mall to be built in the place of former Armenian Church in Lawrence

The end is near for the building that once housed St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church at the corner of Winter and Main Streets in Lawrence, Massachusetts, WHAV reports.

Key architectural features of the 110 Main St. building across from Haverhill City Hall have been removed, interior contents hauled away and the building boarded in preparation for demolition.

armenian-church-lawrence-1Although some expressed concern about the original design of a retail plaza to replace the church, Haverhill Building Inspector Richard Osborne said he is pleased with revised plans the city requested. In its place will go a strip mall with a Domino’s Pizza as the main business.

Late last June, in a 6 to 2 vote, councilors defeated an ordinance which would have granted the Haverhill Historic Commission authority to both delay demolition of properties in the historic district and regulate designs of new buildings. Most councilors argued church parishioners need the money from the sale of the iconic church to complete a new building that has been in the works for 15 years.

Councilor William J. Macek called the quick plan to halt demolition of the church an 11th hour attempt. “I’m not going to roadblock the church or make it any harder,” he said.

St. Gregory the Illuminator Apostolic Church merged in 2002 with Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church of Lawrence to form the Armenian Church at Hye Pointe. Rev Vart Gyozalian, pastor, told councilors the church hopes to have its new Bradford building open by next January.

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