Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Vincent de Paul, Williamsburg

The above photos, taken April 4, 2012, may be enlarged by clicking on each.  Obviously, the buyer of the St. Vincent de Paul property has moved quickly towards gutting and some demolition.  The top photo looks from North 6th Street towards the parish school on North 7th Street, a 1950's building vacant for a few years.  The second building seems to indicate that the senior center used by Catholic Charities, perhaps a former convent, was not sold.  (Yes? No?)  The third photo shows the gutted rectory.
(Update, October, 2012: I much appreciate this comment from Howard Weber:
The Catholic Charities building referred to as a former convent was actually at one time the residence (friary) of the Franciscan Brothers who staffed St. Francis Prep at 186 North 6th Street ( across the street from St Vincent De Paul) from 1952-1974.

If you look at the cornerstone of that it would appear it was built expressly for that purpose.)

(Update, August, 2013: I much appreciate this comment from Terri White:
I believe that the school located on North 7th street was actually built in the 1960's as I was in the first graduating class in 1969. The original school was on Driggs Avenue and North 6th street and was adjacent to the original St Francis Prep boys high school which is now Boricua College. The convent was also adjacent to St Francis prep on north 6th street just before the row of houses. Terri White.)

A friend mailed me a clipping from the Greenline newspaper, dated March 1-31, 2012, page 4, with the headline, "St. Vincent de Paul Church to Become Apts.; Historic Edifice Will Remain Intact."  The developer The North Flats, according to the story, has applied to the Buildings Department to turn the church into 33 apartments, and the parish house into ten apartments.  The adjacent vacant school on North 7th Street and the parking lot were also part of the purchase.  Please read the notes below in view of this latest news.  I must note that there are similarities with the conversion of the buildings of St. Peter's parish some years ago (at Warren and Hicks Streets, Cobble Hill).
On December 6, 2011, the Brooklyn Paper linked here reported that the church of St. Vincent de Paul has been sold to a developer.  In recent days, the diocese has removed the bell and stained glass windows for storage in East New York.  The article is not clear about the other buildings adjacent to the church, to the left in the photo below and the school on the adjoining block behind.  It says that zoning restricts development to residential buildings no taller than fifty feet.
On December 20, 2011, reported here that the sale price was $13.7 million and the size of the property 37,500 square feet (0.86 acre).  The buyer "plans a new residential project."
On April 4, 2011, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio issued a decree linked here, stating that the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel could no longer afford to maintain the church of St. Vincent de Paul on North 6th Street and that said church could be sold for profane use after June 30, 2011, except for sordid purposes.
The photos below date from March, 2010.

For a few years, Armenian Catholics used this church and rectory.  Please see the link here. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction is the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg.

This building on North 6th Street (photo of March 2010) was in the process of being gutted or leveled when I saw the shovel and dump trucks at work 4.5.2012.  Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy has superseded Northside Catholic Academy.