St. Bonaventura Catholic Church

St. Bonaventura Catholic Church

W_LeMay
This is a model of the old St. Bonaventura Church in Cincinnati's South Fairmount neighborhood, formerly located at 1798 Queen City Avenue. Constructed in 1868 and dedicated in 1869, the Romanesque Revival-style church was one of the oldest in the city, and the largest of the mid-19th Century churches on the city's west side. A Catholic School, Monastery, and Rectory were also located on the grounds from the beginning, with the original versions of these buildings being shown in this model. In the early 1900s, the population of South Fairmount and the west side expanded dramatically, and this led to the construction of a new, larger school, along with a stone porch on the front of the sanctuary. A massive renovation was carried out around 1926, at the peak of population in the neighborhood, and the peak level of church membership, with a new (and surviving) school building and gym being added to the parish onto the newer school building, with the original 1860s school and rectory being demolished and replaced with a new rectory. The church was in this configuration for the rest of its existence, and, as the population of South Fairmount declined, so did the church's congregation, leading to its closure in 2003. In 2004, all of the church buildings except for the school and gymnasium building constructed in 1926 were demolished, with no attempt being made for preservation. In place of the sanctuary, a generic, bland pre-engineered metal building was constructed, the remaining portion of the school building was renovated, and the site became home to the Orion Charter School. The last vestige of the sanctuary, the exterior porch once located at the front entrance, was demolished in 2010, and today, only a few vanishing remnants remain of this once-grand landmark, a true shame and a reflection of the lack of concern for preservation in Cincinnati that has been a trend for decades. Feel free to use this model as you see fit, on the condition that you contact me first so I know where it is being used (I'd love to see it wherever it ends up), and give me a mention or credit wherever it is used or published. #Cincinnati #Church #VanishedAmerica #HistoricArchitecture
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