Historical Stories - 1964 Site Selection (Part 1)

The first order of business for Fr. Colman was to identify which of the properties, including the one owned by the parish on Newland Street, would be suitable for the new parish facilities. The following letter to Rev. Timothy Manning illustrates the difficulties encountered by Fr. Colman.  (On January 21, 1970, Rev. Manning would become the third Archbishop of Los Angeles and on March 5, 1973 was named Cardinal by Pope Paul VI).

This was the first of many communications and discussions regarding the selection of land for the relocation of Sts. Simon & Jude Parish.  Other properties under consideration were at Adams and Newland, Adams and Bushard and Adams and Cannery, (Magnolia).  The parcel on Bushard near Adams was approximately ten acres and the Adams and Cannery property forty acres.  There is no mention of the parcel size at Adams and Newland in the correspondence regarding these properties.

Letter from Fr. Colman Colloty, OFM to Most Rev. Timothy Manning, dated January 1, 1964.

Your Excellency,

And a Happy and Blessed New Year to you.

Mr. Andrew Holtz dropped in the other morning.  The developers of the property adjacent to this 13 acres on the south asked him for an easement to get a flood control pipe across his property to the pump.  The pump is going to be located across Indianapolis—also on Mr. Holtz property.  He already sold (for pumping) the piece of property next to the irrigation canal on the north side of Indianapolis.

He wanted to know if we didn’t go with the Atlanta property (and I hope we do not) and we took his property where we would let the developers put the pipe-drain.

Naturally, I couldn't make any commitment.  On talking it out, Mr. Holtz came to the conclusion that it would be best to let them abut the pipe drain against and lateral to the irrigation canal at the far east end of the 13 acres.

Mr. Holtz and his brother also own 18 acres on the north side of Indianapolis between Cannery and the Canal.  If you look at the ground study map I sent recently, you can get a pretty good picture of this.  We would not have to take all 18 acres if we wanted them—anymore than we would have to take the 13 acre section.

Either place will represent quite a saving when it comes to providing flood control answers along with other utilities problems.

I might be noted further that the Indianapolis is a good 2 feet higher than the Atlanta property.  I would hate to get a rain, of the deluge type, over there in the flats.  In 1937, a good rain turned the place into a lake.  Pumps are being installed, it is true.  But homes and streets are depriving the area of its absorbing qualities.  Maybe we will never know, until we are tested—with rowboats.  God forbid.

Anyway, Your Excellency, I thought you might like to have this further little development on the property situation.

Please convey my prayerful wishes to His Eminence for a Happy and Blessed New Year—and to Bishop Ward, bless him.

Many of these properties included surface rights for the drilling of oil, which added another layer of negotiations for the diocese.

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