LEWISTON – The oldest Roman Catholic church in Lewiston has been sold to a hospital, which plans to tear it down and turn it into a parking lot.

Central Maine Healthcare bought the long-vacant St. Joseph’s church for $125,000.

Hospital spokesman Chuck Gill says the church is in such poor condition that it’s not worth renovating. Gill tells the Sun Journal the hospital group plans to be respectful of the church’s history, probably installing a historical marker on the site.

He says it will be turned into parking for 50 to 60 vehicles to accommodate the hospital’s expanding staff.

The 156-year-old church has been unused since October 2009 when it was closed because it had become too costly to operate. The building has been deconsecrated.

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