By Tom Vartabedian
HAVERHILL, Mass. — Since 1945, St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church has remained a sacred cornerstone of this once-bustling shoe capital of the world.
It maintained a lofty presence at the junction of Main and Winter Streets, across from GAR Park which dates back to the Revolutionary War, and near the City Hall, the town library and an all-purpose Citizens’ Center.
This week, a wrecking ball will level this historic structure. In its place a strip mall will be built, with a Domino’s Pizza as the focal business.
The sale of this church, coupled with another Diocesan church in Lawrence (Holy Cross), precipitated the construction of a new establishment across town in what is being called the Armenian Church at Hye Pointe.
A final service was celebrated on September 4 to bid farewell to a church that stood there for 70 years. Its legacy actually dates back to the early 19th century, remaining as a liturgical edifice throughout its vast history.