Our Lady of Perpetual Help, located in Sedamsville on Cincinnati’s western fringes, is a vacant church that holds prominent yet silent vigil over the neighborhood and remnants of the business district. The church parish was organized in 1878, and the building itself was dedicated on May 5, 1889. It was designed by the architect Adolphus Druiding (St. Louis), also known for the magnificent St. Lawrence’s Church in Price Hill.
The church was in use until 1989. Although it has sat empty since, it is still structurally sound.
However, this outstanding building, with its commanding 170-foot spire, only narrowly missed demolition several years ago. And although hundreds of thousands in stabilization costs were recently invested in its roof and box gutters, it still needs extensive restoration.
Cincinnati Preservation Association is promoting the restoration and redevelopment effort and Our Lady of Perpetual Help is currently listed for sale for $5,000. Now, just when you are thinking “Hey, I’ve got five grand…”, there are several key stipulations to the purchase to ensure that this masterpiece is preserved and continues to be an icon within the neighborhood (Translation: Serious Buyers Only Please!).
1) Cincinnati Preservation Association must approve development plans for this 6,000 square foot building;
2) The buyer must show capital or have a financial plan for the work, which is projected to be at least $150 per square foot;
3) Restoration must follow the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings.
These aren’t bad stipulations. After all, after 100 years of helping others, Our Lady of Perpetual Help is graciously waiting, and hoping, that the right person will help her.