In America, where everything is portable, why not move historic churches from the old ethnic neighborhood out to the suburbs where there is a growing population?Unless it is a small wooden chapel, this is a serious undertaking and is much more difficult than it sounds.At the minimum, these churches could be open for special occasions: baptisms, weddings, funerals, and important feast days.In Europe, religious confraternities and guilds own oratories and are responsible for their maintenance and sacred use.
It does not affect residents nor shoppers in our tony neighborhoods.
An added benefit is that the property can go back on the tax rolls and help the city.
If the building is pleasant this may be seen as a loss, but if it is ugly or built since the 1960s this solution will sadden few people.
The cost to move it will likely be greater, and the benefits to the environment may not be better than designing a new church from scratch.
That being said, it is one way to conserve works of sacred architecture that otherwise might fall into disrepair.