129-year-old former church may be demolished

The owner of a Saint John landmark says it could become the target for demolition.

The owner of a Saint John landmark says it could be torn down.

Philip Huggard bought the Gothic Arches more than ten years ago to save it from from being demolished. He turned it into a performing arts centre and gave it its current name.

He now says if a buyer for the former church isn't found soon, the 129-year-old building could be knocked down.

Formally known as the Centenary-Queen Square United Church, the building sits outside a designated heritage zone and isn't protected from demolition.

He's been trying to sell it for over two years, and said he's okay financially, but worries about the building in the long term.

"If we're looking another five, six years well, will there be maintenance issues? Y'know, probably. We don't want that. We don't want to have big, big expenses that we can't handle."

Wendy Fox manages Simply Good Catering, a non-profit group that employs special needs workers, and operates out of the Gothic Arches kitchen.

She said the building's construction and location makes it an ideal place for them to work.

If anything were to happen to it, she said it would be difficult to move.

"That would be very costly, very costly for us. And we're a non-profit company so we do not have a lot of money."

The company is one of several groups renting space in the old church.

Huggard said he hopes to have the building sold within six months.