Friday, January 30, 2009

St James Cathedral, Jay Street



The cathedral doors are often locked.  The above sign indicates that one may visit the church 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday.  Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.
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Please click on the word Comments above the photo to read 15 important comments, including a request for a photo of the graduating class of 1965, St. James Pro-Cathedral elementary school.  



The mailing address of St. James Cathedral is 250 Cathedral Place, Brooklyn NY 11201, telephone 718-855-6390. The above photo shows the cathedral on Jay Street, just north of congested Tillary Street, in the few blocks between the approaches to Brooklyn Bridge and to Manhattan Bridge. The history of this parish goes back to 1822. See the cathedral website here. The see of Brooklyn was created in 1853. It seems that there was a fire in the cathedral in 1889 and that the current structure was built in 1903, according to the AIA Guide to New York City. The architect at that time was George H. Streeton, who also designed the church of the Guardian Angel on West 23rd Street, Manhattan, in 1910, only to have that church destroyed about 1930 for the construction of the New York Central Railroad's freight elevated line, likewise short-lived. Streeton also designed St. Raphael's church at 502 West 41st Street, Manhattan, still standing.
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For about a century, this church was known as the Pro-Cathedral, in hopes that a larger cathedral would be built somewhere. The bus in the photo has as its destination 310 Prospect Park West and 19th Street, the location of some diocesan offices. After streetcar service ceased on this route about 1957, the diocese bought the carbarn at 20th Street and built Bishop Ford High School there.





Jay Street was narrower until about 1933. To construct an Independent Subway junction under Jay Street, the parish buildings on the west side of the street were cut back severely. The high school was moved to St. Augustine's parish and to the new Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, where the school newspaper is still called The Jamesonian. The parish elementary school closed in 1973. The above photo shows the building on the west side of Jay Street.  Over the north door, a sign says Cathedral Pavilion, but other signs indicate use by a charter school. About 1985 or 1990, we heard an address by Mario Cuomo here, followed by a question-and-answer period.



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17 comments:

  1. I went to St James Catholic School, across the street from the church until it was closed in 1973. That was the same year my mother passed away. That was a lot to lose at age 13...Mom and St. James Catholic School.

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    1. I went there too. My name is George Gonzalez

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  2. My Whole Family on my mothers side went to this church My Grandmother and her sisters were marry in this Church My great grandparents had thier funerals here my Grandmother and her sisters went to school here and i am pretty sure they were Baptize here.They were the farren family around the turn of the Century. So this church will always be near to my Heart.
    Ms Barbara Bosy

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  3. St. James brings back many fond memories not only of the Parish but Brooklyn NY in general. I still remember Father Toomey and Sister Anselma, my eight grade teacher. I now live in Rockland County but I am a Brooklynite at heart.

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    1. Gee Whiz, Father Toomey, Father Sullivan and Powers oh yes, I remember them I did my Communion and Confirmation during their time St. James...:)

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    2. If you're interested in checking old school friends? Check-out the St. James Reunion website on Facebook.

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    3. Sang in Father Toomey's choir 1946 till 1950

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  4. Looking for anyone who graduated from the school in 1971 or 72. You can reach me at annette_657@yahoo.com

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  5. Me and my brothers started at st james in the sixth grasde


    went to St James in 1965-066 My older brother started in 64 and my younger brother in 65 he started the third grade.Sister Jane, Sister grace arthor.
    Fathers toomey tilly obrien, sullivan to name a few Maybe it was 64 president kennedys assination
    Bob Orsini









    me

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  6. I was an altar boy at St. James and knew Fr. Toomey from his work with the choir. Circa 1948-50.

    Tom Tillander

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  7. I went to the elementary school and graduated in 1949. Our basketball team was the first (and last?) to win a championship, and our numbers were retired.
    I served as an alter boy, and sang in the choir. We used to go to the Midnight (printers') mass, before ending the night down the block at Brica's Tavern at the corner of Jay & Tillary.

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    1. Hi if you're interested in finding any of your friends a few are on FB look under St. James Reunion there you'll find pictures and when the next Reunion will be held.

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  8. On that photo above, is that the old Howard Clothes building? Or Eagle?

    I move out of Brooklyn many years ago and went to NYC Community College for a year. If I recall correctly, there was a mens clothes manufacturer in that area but cannot remember for sure.

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  9. St. James Basilica is a hidden gem in Downtown Brooklyn. The stained glass windows are quite remarkable and rival anything that you would see in Europe. The light streaming through the stained glass windows adds to attending mass. The congregation welcomes visitors, and I was impressed that the Sunday mass has someone who signs the mass for those individuals who communicate by sign language. Before going check the time that the Basilica is open.

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  10. Linda Ellis (nee Irizarry) e-mailed me inquiring whether anyone could share a photo of the graduating class of 1965 of St. James Pro-Cathedral Elementary School. "A group held a reunion this past weekend. There were more than 100 St. James alumni there, yet none had a 1965 graduation class photo. The diocese of Broolkyn does not have a copy." If you can help, please contact Linda at lellis@udel.edu
    Posted by Joe McMahon, editor of this blog.

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  11. Hello St James gave me my foundation in life. I went there from first grade in 1968 to my family moved in 1972.
    My name is Ronald James you can contact me Delta118@gmail.com.

    Very strange I still have dreams that place in my subconscious.

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