Wednesday, December 14, 2016

St. Barbara, Bushwick

The mailing address of the parish of St. Barbara is 138 Bleeker St., Brooklyn NY 11221, telephone 718-452-3660. The parish has an excellent new (2016) website, linked HERE.
Leonard Eppig, a brewer, it is said, had a daughter Barbara and son Leonard. He was born in 1839 and before he died in 1893, he was a benefactor in establishing two parishes.  About 1905-1910, his family gave generously to the construction of St. Barbara's church and nearby St. Leonard's. Far more important to me, however, is that my mother-in-law was baptized in this parish, her wedding to Bob was here in 1930, and my wife and her aunts also received Baptism here. I think Eppig and his generation called this neighborhood Bushwick, but many call it Ridgewood.

The school, long staffed by the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, closed in 1973, during an era when the people of Bushwick suffered from fires deliberately set in residences. Much has been rebuilt since, and the parish remains an active help in the community.
The above photo and text is copied from my original post in 2008. The web newspaper Brooklyn Daily Eagle of 12.14.2016 has run an article "St. Barbara's Roman Catholic Church in Bushwick Gets Landmarked," linked HERE.
The unanimous vote means that the Landmarks Preservation Committee must approve before the church is demolished or the exterior changed.  The article informs us that the architect was Frank Helmle (1869-1939). The style could be called neo-Plateresque or Spanish Mission Revival.  (That contradicts my assumption that the style was Bavarian or Austrian.)  I frequently look from the J train to see its 175-foot towers.

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