Bad St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church. Bad, bad church.


St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, San Diego CAI have personal issues with religion, mostly Mormons and Catholics since I grew up in those two religions. I’m now going to add Greek Orthodox to the list.

St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego CA recently applied for permits to demolish two homes on Indiana Street, one of which, and possibly both, has been designated historic.

The church owns both homes, but nonetheless…. So, how can they demolish something that officially has been designated historic? Well, it’s another issue that I have with religions.

Religions, the bane of humanity in my opinion, not only are exempt from paying property taxes but are exempt from many other rules and regulations that the general public has to abide by. In this case, because of religious exemptions, the church does not have to justify its decision, quite often a torturous and onerous process (as it should be), and does not have to order impact reports on how it intends to use the land.

The demolition permits cost $2,331, and the City approved them, even though their own documents noted that the homes are historic. Even with religious exemptions, though, the City has the power to disapprove the demolition permits. In this case, I think the City failed.

Upon learning of the demolition permits, the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) immediately went to work to try to save the two houses. They have found a taker for at least one of the two homes but St. Spyridon refuses to delay demolition so that SOHO can get all the paperwork done to relocate the two houses.

The two houses were custom-built in the 1920s. In other words, they aren’t your typical tract homes in this neighborhood.

3688 Indiana Street, San Diego CA
2,886 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 3½ bathrooms
2016 assessed value: $404,500
2016 property taxes: $32.44 (It’s that religious exemption thing)
Last sale: 1987 to St. Spyridon
3688 Indiana Street, San Diego CA

3694 Indiana Street, San Diego CA
1,241 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
2016 assessed value: $226,664
2016 property taxes: $29.50 (That religious exemption thing again)
Last sale: 1988 to St. Pyridon
3694 Indiana Street, San Diego CA

The North Park Planning Committee’s project review subcommittee has found that there is very little the community can do to keep the houses from being demolished. Although they have contacted St. Spyridon, the church appears not interested in discussing the situation with anyone. “This is so frustrating when we know that at least one of these houses has been designated historic and this loophole lets them tear it down,” said Dionne Carlson. “We’d like to encourage them to think about how it affects the community, and take a little more time to support their community. They have every right to do this, we just hope they will look at other ideas,” she added.

Joaquin Castro, whose business it is to move houses, said that moving the house would save the church the $10,000 cost of demolition and disposing of the building materials.

Already signs are going up on telephone and light poles throughout the neighborhood encouraging a boycott of St. Spyridon’s annual Greek Festival.

Boycott St. Spyridon's annual Greek Festival

I’m hoping the public can put enough pressure on St. Spyridon to do the right thing, and the right thing does not involve demolishing these historic homes.

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10 thoughts on “Bad St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church. Bad, bad church.

  1. Anny

    This is so very sad. Where is their conscience? We live in the historical district, and sometimes decisions do need to be postponed until the poor dwelling (one of ours was a firehouse) can somehow be saved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Especially since they have owned the two houses since 1987 and 1988. Come on. Really? They have done nothing with the two houses for 30 years. They can’t wait a few more months? Sheesh.


  2. philosophermouseofthehedge

    You know how much trouble we have hanging onto old buildings. Historic doesn’t always save them. Companies “accidentally” knock a critical piece down…or show up with bulldozers in the middle of the night if they think the public is going to chain themselves to columns of something.
    Anyone know what is to be done with the property? I’m assuming media is onboard with preservation? Shaming about homeless people needing places or recycling homes not working? Both look moveable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. chunkshouse

    Its a shame that they cannot wait to allow the homes to be moved or fix the homes to use them.
    I am religious, but I don’t like organized religion. It has outgrown its purpose and takes advantage of the system. Jesus didn’t have a fancy church he had a hillside.

    It would be nice to see some changes in the system such as the church paying is fair share in taxes. The exemption should be only for money spent on free services given back to the community it is located in. (services – housing, food, supplies to rebuild damaged home – no membership required)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      “Jesus didn’t have a fancy church he had a hillside.” I do believe I shall have to make a Facebook meme out of that thought. Beautiful!

      Maybe the fact that Jesus had a hillside instead of a fancy church is why, when I need spiritual help, I ponder my existence on a hillside with Mother & Father Nature instead of in some fancy church.

      Liked by 1 person


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