DULUTH - “Right now we have a firm disagreement with the diocese and they will not entertain even at this point even the idea of local landmark status of St. Peter's Church,” Heritage Preservation Commission president David Woodward said.
What to do with St. Peter's Church has become controversial.
Some community members and city officials want to preserve it, but members of the Heritage Preservation Committee say the Diocese of Duluth wants it demolished.
Usually the Heritage Preservation Commission nominates buildings to become historical landmarks.
The commission recently found out a change in the united development code prevents them from doing so.
Now, the only entity that can nominate a building to become landmark status is the landowner.
In this case, commission members say it is the Diocese of Duluth.
The commission says this creates an impasse because the Diocese wants to demolish or sell St. Peter's Church.
"We are still not giving up on the preservation of St. Peter's church,” said Woodward. “We are looking at legal and reasonable means of working with the diocese."
"St. Peter's, it was built to last for many centuries it wasn't built for 87 years," Duluth Preservation Alliance president Glen Filipovich said.
However, the Diocese of Duluth says it is actually St. Mary Star of the Sea parish that owns the church and will take a lead role in deciding what to do with the building.
The Diocese also tells FOX 21, so far, the parish has not requested designation for the church to be a historic landmark.
FOX 21 reached out to St. Mary Star of the Sea and our calls were not returned.
The commission will meet again on this issue next month.