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How Aging Urban Churches Can Be Saved
Church attendance isn't what it once was in central Washington, D.C. Dan Reed writes: "Once upon a time, congregations could anchor neighborhoods, but nowadays they can feel like a void. Because many are open just a few hours a week for Saturday and Sunday services and the occasional weeknight meeting, nearby sidewalks are empty because nobody has a reason to stop in."
That can make neighborhoods with a lot of churches seem more dangerous for pedestrians, dampening prospects for development. Reed cites a recent example of how an old church partnered with housing developers to build a combined structure. The building looks pretty unconventional, but the arrangement may let churches stay open.
"Congregations get a space that fits their current needs as well as the money to take care of it while carrying out their mission. Developers snag sought-after building sites plus a sympathetic partner able to win over abutters who may fight new construction in their back yard."