I write regarding the two houses on Walnut Street, currently owned by St. John's Cathedral. It is understandable if the cathedral chapter feels that being the landlord of income-producing real estate is incompatible with the mission of the cathedral, or if they don't wish a paid staff person or a chapter officer to have to expend the time and effort required to carry out the responsibilities of a property manager. That said, as an Episcopalian, I find it utterly embarrassing that our cathedral's chapter has failed to respond to the extraordinarily generous offer from Mr. Dewhirst. That failure, at the very least, suggests that we have lost our manners.
The cathedral seems to be planning a major new, handicap accessible entrance at the rear of the cathedral. That would seem to require a clearly marked street access point. The space between the cathedral and the adjacent house announces itself to passers by as an alley. What is needed is a landscaped entrance with an architectural gateway, preferably canopied, that announces itself to the casual observer as an entrance access. Isn't the logical best solution to the needs of the cathedral and those of the downtown community the demolition of the house nearest the cathedral and the sale of the other house to someone who will restore it as a residence? Demand for downtown residential space exceeds available housing; it seems to me that this solution allows the cathedral to provide for its needs, while remaining appropriately responsive to the downtown community of which it is, like it or not, a part.
Dana ("Nick") Wyman