The historic Quinn Chapel Church on the corner of Ninth and Chestnut Streets is losing bricks. Water damage caused by a worn-out roof has caused a small portion of the church’s eastern wall to collapse and suddenly we may have to be concerned for the important structure’s future, given Louisville’s recent track record with preservation.
Quinn Chapel Church is owned by the adjacent Chestnut Street Y and at one point was planned to become a community center. The structure is in generally good shape, but the roof must be replaced soon before more significant water damage sets in. We saw earlier this year that the interior is in salvageable shape, but suffered from some water damage as well. As we have discussed time and time again, water is incredibly dangerous for any building and sustained water infiltration can lead to a structure’s demise.
Luckily in this case, the damage isn’t too bad. A similar parapet collapse occurred a couple years ago on Market Street where the Bacon-Debrovy Lofts were once planned. That example has since been fixed. The important thing is to stop the water from penetrating the church’s masonry walls and dissolving the old lime mortar that holds it together.
I put in a call to the Chestnut Street Y and I’ll post a response when I hear back. If funds aren’t currently available for a full-scale renovation, it’s now time to take roof-replacement seriously.