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First United Church razes unused manse in downtown Corner Brook to make room for parking

An excavator goes to work taking down the First United Church manse on Park Street in Corner Brook Sunday.
An excavator goes to work taking down the First United Church manse on Park Street in Corner Brook Sunday.

It was an old building, but it could hardly be called a heritage structure any more.

That’s one of the reasons why the First United Church decided to demolish the manse alongside its church on Park Street in Corner Brook this past weekend.

The 90-year-old building was razed to the ground by heavy equipment Sunday evening. The demolition had been originally slated for Saturday, but the church decided to wait another day so the work would not interfere with the Nuit 150 artistic festival held in the West Street area of the city Saturday night.

The structure’s original charm had been whittled away through the years by a series of piecemeal renovation projects.

When the original porch needed repairs years ago, it was simply removed instead. New windows installed over time never carried the same character as the originals and the new siding put on the building also took way from its former status as one of the finest homes in Corner Brook.

The manse, which had not been occupied for 13 years, was also in need of extensive wiring, plumbing and heating work.

The church’s congregation had voted unanimously to tear it down and replace it with some needed parking space. Along with the 20 new spaces it will create, It is expected the removal of the manse will also now open up the area to some landscaping and beautification work.

The church will also soon be removing the old iron fencing that surrounds the large green space in front of the church. Whether new fencing will replace it remains to be seen and may be dependent on whether city bylaws require a fence to be put back there.

The church will soon look into coming up with a master plan to make its entire property more functional, though he said the huge lawn area will remain intact.

It wasn’t long before the First United Church manse on Park Street in Corner Brook was reduced to a pile of wooden debris during demolition work Sunday.

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