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    Tuesday, February 27, 2024

    From rubble to resolve: value our heritage

    I never thought I could experience grief for a building, but in the aftermath of the collapse of the First Congregational Church on State Street, I find myself in a state of shock and sadness. Designed by a Jewish architect from Prague, built from stone quarried on the site, funded by whaling profits, erected for the congregation that founded the city and serving as the home of the charismatic, nondenominational Engaging Heaven Church, the building wove together many threads of American culture.

    I have admired its grandeur since I moved here in the 1970s. Just last October, I explained its significance to a group of Conn College students touring the city center. And now, suddenly, it is a pile of rubble, soon to be gone completely. May its literal downfall remind us of the value of the city’s historic architecture and streetscape. May we resolve to preserve, protect and promote that heritage for future generations. And may the prominent site be reserved for a worthy successor.

    Tom Couser

    New London

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