SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A crane positioned outside a historic, but closed church caused some curiosity in Springfield’s Hungry Hill neighborhood Thursday morning, but it isn’t there for demolition purposes.
22News received calls from viewers concerned about the activity outside the Our Lady of Hope Church on Armory Street, so we contacted Mark Dupont, spokesperson for the Diocese of Springfield. Dupont said that the Diocese has a contract with a cell phone company, which maintains an antenna in Our Lady of Hope’s steeple. He said that the company has the crane there to do work on the antenna.
Our Lady of Hope closed in 2009 when the parish was merged with St. Mary’s Parish in East Springfield. The new Mary, Mother of Hope Parish is located at the former St. Mary’s building on Page Boulevard. Since that time, the Springfield City Council voted to establish the Our Lady of Hope church building as a historic district. The Diocese sued the City over the issue, but Dupont said that they are no longer taking legal action, and have found new uses for the property.
Dupont said that the Sisters of Saint Joseph are using the former church’s rectory, while the church itself is being used for storage. He said that a moving van was seen bringing items into the church on Wednesday, which may have drawn additional curiosity in the neighborhood.