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Historic Harrisburg church on Civil War site will be sold to a veterans’ ministry

Patriot-News - 2/12/2021

An agreement has been reached to sell the historic Camp Curtin Memorial-Mitchell United Methodist Church to a group that plans to house a veterans ministry there, said real estate agent Bill Gladstone.

Gladstone, of the Bill Gladstone Group of NAI CIR, said the church that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010 will be sold next month.

“The property is being sold to a church off of the west coast that is buying it as a church for veterans,” he said.

Gladstone said he can’t name the buyer at this time but said the group will renovate the church. The property was being listed for $155K, according to the real estate listing.

“They like the fact that it has a civil war history to it,” he said. “It needs some work but the basics are there for them.”

The church can be traced back to an organization of a Sunday School in 1889. The Curtin Heights Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1890 but was destroyed in 1894, according to the Historic Harrisburg Association The building was rebuilt in 1895, and its sanctuary and bell tower were added to the structure in 1916, according to the association.

“This church stands out as a prominent important architectural landmark for the city of Harrisburg and the region,” said the Bill Gladstone Group’s real estate listing. “The property features the ability to seat over 700 congregants, beautiful stained glass windows, one of the largest organs in Harrisburg, many offices and classrooms, and a large commercial kitchen with adjacent fellowship hall.”

Since the church is located on the site of Camp Curtin, a Civil War training site, it was designated a memorial to all Civil War soldiers and its name was later changed to the Camp Curtin Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, according to the Historic Harrisburg Association. In 1989, a merger with the nearby Mitchell congregation resulted in the Camp Curtin Memorial-Mitchell United Methodist Church’s new name, according to the association.

In December 2018, the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church announced plans to consolidate around 10 churches in and around Harrisburg, and to sell some, including Camp Curtin Memorial-Mitchell United Methodist Church.

Gladstone said that the church on North Sixth Street is the last of seven churches that were put on the market in 2019. The other six churches all sold in 2020. The new owner of one of those churches, First Harrisburg UMC, a 150-year-old church at 260 Boas St. in Harrisburg, has plans for that building to be redeveloped into eight apartments with a community room, gym/fitness area and basement storage. The other five church buildings were purchased by four churches and one synagogue.

You can follow Daniel Urie on twitter @DanielUrie2018 and you can like him on Facebook.


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