(Melrose MN-) The skyline over the city of Melrose will look a lot different in the comings days. Crews are demolishing the historic St. Mary's church this week, which has sat empty after arson fire heavily damaged the building in 2016. Residents and parishioners looked on as heavy machinery took apart the 121-year-old church. Gerry Osendorf was part of the group that tried to save the church and says watching it come down is heartbreaking:
Back in 2018, the Diocese of St. Cloud and Parish Council members announced they would not be restoring the church, but rather building a new church a few blocks over. Osendorf says even with a new church, to him it will never be the same.
Construction of the new church is underway and expected to wrap up this winter. The blaze caused roughly $5-million in damage. A 13-year-old was charged with intentionally starting the fire after confessing to authorities back in 2018.