St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church, located in the Union-Miles Park neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, was constructed in 1913 and rebuilt in 1933. It featured Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival architectural styles and intricate interior frescoes that made it one of the most elaborate churches in the neighborhood.

St. Joseph’s congregation numbers declined in the 1970s as the surrounding neighborhood declined and closed altogether in 1980. The building was repurposed for another church before being abandoned in 2002.

St. Joseph’s was a favorite of many to photograph, myself included. By the time I arrived, the flooring system had been scrapped for scrap steel, the wood floor carelessly dumped into the what remained of the crawlspace.

The church was put out of its misery and demolished in early 2016.

Somehow, I am reminded of architectural photographer and historical preservationist Richard Nickel, who once said that “great architecture has only two natural enemies: water and stupid men.” I tend to agree.