Save Rockford’s Historic Chancery Building

Save Rockford’s Historic Chancery Building

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Lawrence Morrissey started this petition to Bishop Malloy of the Rockford Diocese

The supporters of this petition are united to save Rockford’s Historic Chancery Building and other nearby related historic structures, which Bishop Malloy and the Rockford Diocese determined to demolish over the Christmas break. 

This stately stone structure is one of our finest examples of historic architecture and represents the cherished craftsmanship of a generation of laborers whose work shaped our community. Completed in 1930 under the leadership of Bishop Hoban and designed by W. J. Van der Meer, the architect for numerous sacred buildings throughout the Diocese, the Chancery served as the Bishop’s office and personal residence for more than 70 years — until the Diocese offices relocated along I-90 and the Bishop moved his residence to the East Side.

While the Bishop and Diocese don’t see value in the Chancery Building, we believe the Chancery and related buildings are vital cultural and historic resources that can be redeveloped into sustainable assets to support the neighborhood in which they are located. We believe these buildings are treasures to be developed, not burdens to be buried.

The Catholic Charities website states that the organization has “the enviable role of being the Church's face-to-face presence in the lives of our Diocese's neediest. What some may see as obligations or inconvenience [they] see as opportunities ... [The] challenge is to find and provide the human, monetary, physical and geographical resources to accomplish those objectives.”

We ask the Diocese to follow its own mission statement. The Diocese current direction of closing schools and demolishing historic buildings is no way to grow the Church’s impact where it is needed most. Charitable programs without community redevelopment will not effectively support the very people the Diocese wants to help.

The City of Rockford has ordered the Diocese to halt the illegal interior demolition it had started. Separately, an application for Historic Landmark status has been filed with the City. We believe that these actions will force the Diocese to delay demolition, at least temporarily. But we ask the Bishop to halt the demolition plan permanently, recognizing the cultural and financial importance of this historic asset. We also ask that the Bishop consider a partnership that helps rebuild and renew the neighborhood and serves as a model that can be used throughout the Diocese.

Finally, we invite Church members, community members and preservation advocates from across the community and across the nation to sign our online petition. We need action now, or we risk losing these precious assets forever.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!