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Facade of former church crumbles in Parkersburg

Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Jeff Baughan Gray arch stones from the windows of the former Calvary Baptist Church mixed with crumbled red bricks on the sidewalk and street after falling from near the eave of the church when temperatures warmed Tuesday afternoon.
Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Jeff Baughan
Gray arch stones from the windows of the former Calvary Baptist Church mixed with crumbled red bricks on the sidewalk and street after falling from near the eave of the church when temperatures warmed Tuesday afternoon.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – Stones from the facade of the former Calvary Baptist Church, at the corner of Avery and 13th streets in Parkersburg, were littered across one lane of Avery Street on Tuesday evening.

Officials said the remainder of the building at 1301 Avery St. is believed to be structurally sound and should pose no threat aside from the crumbling section along Avery Street, said Gary Moss, code enforcement director for the city of Parkersburg.

Avery Street has been partially cordoned off around the site, reducing the one-way road to a single lane for the length of the church, Moss said.

The source of the crumbling wall is believed to be a leaking roof or gutter on the vacant building, Moss said.

Water is believed to have gotten inside the Avery Street wall over the winter, which caused the bricks to loosen through repeated freezing and thawing, Moss said.

“What has been happening to our roads is the same thing that has happened to this historic church,” said Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell…

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