Yard Arteology: The study of neighbors through their lawn decoration...This week, the St. Francis of Assisi National Catholic Church in southeast Denver will be presented with a new statue to replace their five-foot-tall front door figurine of St. Francis that was stolen on July 30. Meanwhile, the St. Francis of Assisi statue residing with The Sisters of Penance and Christian Charity in Chaffee Park shall just have to try to come to grips with the rationale of being left limbless and ignored for years... Standing before a rock wall at the intersection of West 52nd Ave. and Federal Blvd., the St. Francis statue pictured above is hidden from the view of the Marycrest caretaker's house just barely seen through the trees. The overgrowth of vegetation and lack of repair suggest that the Marycrest mission may (once again) be in transition. A quick Internet search reveals that the Sisters have sold the property to developers for affordable housing.
A look at the Aria Denver website for the Marycrest development intimate that future plans for the limbless statue include removal of the remaining body parts and complete replacement with an asphalt parking lot and strip mall. Since the statue has not been converted into a curbside nail salon/income tax/doggy daycare sign holder insinuates that there may be little need for new retail development at the location at this time.
The build-out of the proposed eighty co-housing units and 120 apartments planned for the Aria Denver project was supposed to be completed by 2010, thereby hinting that the project is experiencing a slowdown, possibly due to a weak housing market.
The unwillingness to replace the hands on the statue indicate that the property's current managers believe that the improved economic conditions needed to make this development a success can be achieved without St. Francis's prayers.