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Letter to the Editor: Neighbors oppose sale of church to county

Editor's note: The following letter was sent to the city of Alexandria by residents in the First Lutheran Church neighborhood.

We care about our neighborhood, the Alexandria Residential Historic District, and we are committed to preserving its history for future residents of Alexandria. As a result, we vehemently oppose the sale of First Lutheran Church, located in our historic neighborhood, to any government or commercial agency.

The neighborhood that directly surrounds First Lutheran Church is a family neighborhood with a rich history, belonging to both Alexandria and Douglas County.

Some homes in this neighborhood are over a hundred years old; they have been homes to generations of residents, including U.S. Senator, Henrik Shipstead. Named on The National Register of Historic Neighborhoods, the Alexandria Residential Historic District is a neighborhood that is valued by its current residents, its past residents, and its connection to Alexandria, Douglas County, and the State of Minnesota.

Churches are part of a neighborhood because their members become residents by community and affiliation. Churches are families. They are not businesses where people come and go without regard for the building or the community that reside in their presence. First Lutheran Church, for its role in this family neighborhood and its presence in Alexandria's most cherished, historic, residential neighborhood, should never be a government or commercial property, as these would change the sense of community, the history, and the individual property values of this neighborhood.

Jay and Annie Clark

(On behalf of 23 other households in the neighborhood)

Alexandria, MN