Epworth Methodist Church / Manse College Library

Epworth Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in Toledo in 1894. A new church building on Parkwood was dedicated in January of 1907, and expanded with the addition of a sanctuary in 1922.

On September 7th, 1958, fire swept through Epworth Church, destroying most of the sanctuary. Investigators later found the cause of the fire to be arson, part of a wave of suspicious fires in the city. Just a week later the church was holding services in a nearby school, not missing a single day. The congregation decided to rebuild elsewhere, leaving the old shell behind. Mary Manse College, a Catholic women's school located nearby bought the property in 1960, and started raising money to convert it into a library. Over the next seven years a flat roof replaced the original peaked one lost in the fire, and the nave was converted into a three-story library holding 52,000 books. A 154-seat auditorium was installed in the basement, along with audio / visual rooms and offices. As construction was completed in the spring of 1967, books from the old college library were packed up and moved across the street to the new, which was dedicated in May of that year.

Mary Manse College closed in 1975 due to financial problems. What happened after that is unclear, though in 1991 the building was bought and reopened by a small Church of God in Christ congregation, which used the first floor for services. Exactly when the church left is unknown, but the building has since fallen into deep disrepair, with water ruining the remaining books and causing heavy structural damage.