Church to be auctioned

St. Thomas church in Huntington is being auctioned off July 20. (Photo by Amy Porter/The Westfield News)

HUNTINGTON, Mass. (The Westfield News) – St. Thomas Church, the historic white church located at the top of the Green bridge on the corner of East Main Street and Basket Street in Huntington, is being auctioned off on Thursday, July 20 at 1 p.m. by Aaron Posnik & Co., Inc. auctioneers of West Springfield.

Auction sign at St. Thomas Church in Huntington. (Photo by Amy Porter/The Westfield News)

The single story church, built in 1882, is 3,720 square feet, located on approximately 1/3 acres, with approximately 120 foot frontage along East Main Street. Listed as improvements on the auction site at www.posnik.com are oil-fired hot water heat, handicap accessible lavatory, elevator, partially finished basement, vinyl siding, slate and asphalt roof, choir loft area, stained glass windows and hardwood and carpeted floors.

Inspection will take place the day of sale from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sale is listed as per order of a motivated seller, which is the Roman Catholic Diocese, and will be sold on the premises the day of the auction.

St. Thomas Roman Catholic Church closed in February of 2010, after the membership of St. Thomas, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Russell and St. John Mission in Chester voted to merge parishes and worship in the Russell church, which was then renamed the Holy Family Parish.

St. Thomas was on the market for 19 months for $199,900, when the town of Huntington voted at its annual meeting on June 4, 2012 to amend the town’s bylaws to create a single property Local Historic District, consisting solely of the St. Thomas Roman Catholic Church. According to the study report by the town’s Historical Commission, the purpose was “to preserve the architectural integrity of St. Thomas Church… one of the first landmarks you see as you enter the town village… (now) threatened by deferred maintenance, vandalism, or being demolished.”

The designation restricts altering the appearance or historical significance of the building. The architectural design, façade, window shapes, steeple, paint and roof colors for instance would be some features visible from the street view and therefore could not be altered, according to the study.

Town administrative assistant Helen Speckels, one of the members of the study committee, said at the time that the Local Historic District designation “would only affect exterior renovations.” She said new owners would have to go through a permitting process, which is normal, but which would go through the Historical Commission.

The terms of sale for the public auction on Thursday, July 20 are listed as $5,000 deposit of cash or certified funds, 5% buyer’s premium applies, subject to terms of sale, and other terms to be announced at time of sale.

For more information, contact Aaron Posnik & Co., Inc. at 413-733-5238, www.posnik.com.