Springfield Diocese To Auction Off Huntington Church

Jul 19, 2017

St. Thomas Church in Huntington, Massachusetts, will go up for auction on Thursday. It's one of over 30 churches in the Springfield Diocese to close its doors in the last decade, but the first to be put up for auction.

Diocese spokesman Mark Dupont said the town's decision to make the church an historic district in 2012 could have made it harder to sell.

"Historic districts are always well intentioned, but generally -- in our experience -- have been counterproductive," Dupont said. "They actually deter interest by buyers, because they come with a lot of additional regulations."

Any buyer who wants to make changes to the exterior of the church will need approval from Huntington's Historic District Commission.

Helen Speckel is the town's administrative assistant and a member of the Historic Commission. She said Huntington officials are thinking about the future of the landmark.

"The town may be interested in purchasing or putting an offer in on that building," she said. "So, we'll have to wait and see what happens."

The auction is set for 1 p.m. Thursday.