Progress in Religious Buildings
Lots of Catholic Churches have gone bankrupt, and many more have decayed from inadequate maintenance. Buildings of some other religions have suffered a similar fate. With the growth of “Nones,” people with no religious affiliation, that will happen increasingly often. St. Louis found some creative ways to recycle these buildings (including a synagogue), and add value to the community (here).
Addendum - From Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Sabina recalled how after the Communist coup [in Czechoslovakia, 1968] all the castles in Bohemia were nationalized and turned into manual training centers, retirement homes, and also cow sheds. She had visited one of the cow sheds: hooks for iron rings had been hammered into stucco walls, and cows tied to the rings gazed dreamily out of the windows at the castle grounds, now overrun with chickens.
‘It’s the emptiness of it that fascinates me,’ said Franz. ‘People collect altars, statues, paintings, chairs, carpets, and books, and then comes a time of joyful relief and they throw it all out like so much refuse from yesterday’s dinner table. Can’t you just picture Hercules’ broom sweeping out this cathedral?’