Initially considered for part of new park structures, former Faith Lutheran Church steeple to be demolished

The steeple on the grounds of the future North Park will be demolished in the coming weeks after the city of Prairie Village determined it was not structurally sound to stand on its own.

Plans to incorporate the steeple of the former Faith Lutheran Church into the design of the new North Park at 67th Street and Roe Avenue in Prairie Village have been set aside over concerns about the structural stability of the tower and its fit with other planned park elements.

Demolition crews had preserved the steeple, which was part of the original 1950s church building, as they readied the site for park construction in the coming months. Because the steeple sat near the location of a planned park shelter, city officials and members of a committee charged with developing programing for the park had envisioned incorporating the tower into the shelter structure.

But, as Prairie Village Public Works Director Keith Bredehoeft told the city council earlier this week, all of the concepts for creating park structures that used the steeple looked “forced.”

Moreover, noted Mayor Laura Wassmer, the steeple had structural integrity issues that would have required piering or other structural enhancement that “would not be visually appealing.”

The committee recently agreed to move forward with park design plans that will not use the steeple, and Bredehoeft said Dale Brothers, which handled initial demolition and clean up of the site, will take the steeple down in the near future.

The initial programming and features approved by the committee include:

  • Two small shelters
  • A restroom
  • An open grass area
  • A play area
  • A parking lot with 37 spaces
  • A bocce ball court
  • A formal garden

The committee will advance a recommended design to the city council in the coming months for final approval. The timeline for the project calls for the park to be open to the public in spring 2019.