Thursday, July 28, 2022

Two hundred years ago

On July 25, 1822, the cornerstone of St. James's church on Jay Street was placed on his feast day. The Tablet has an article HERE.

I wonder whether the street was called Jay Street at the time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

St. Patrick, Kent Ave., for sale

Usually, it is easy to find diocesan decrees on a website, but in this case I can only refer to a July 18, 2022, Tablet article behind a registration wall HERE.


In 1856, the renowned architect Patrick Keely built St. Patrick's church on the northwest corner of Kent Avenue and Willoughby Avenue. In 2010, the nearby parish of St. Lucy was merged into it. Now, the church is falling down, and in June the Bishop decreed its sale. Among the several reasons for my guess that the buyer will demolish it is the growing Hasidic community nearby.

Please refer to my older post.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Epiphany for sale

The church of the Epiphany at 96 South 9th Street is for conversion, sale, or destruction. Please see the decree dated September 28, 2021, linked HERE. I am a bit confused which building was the rectory, as the house numbers do not seem to match on facing sides of the street. The 1922 Catholic Directory lists Epiphany School with 7 Sisters of St. Joseph, one lay teacher, and 352 students at 98 South 9th Street. On the Berry Street side of the property is Epiphany Park, possibly on land from a parish organization. See the description at NYC Parks.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Sts. Peter and Paul, Williamsburg

The long-established parish of Sts. Peter and Paul has accomplished a remarkable makeover of a large building on Berry Street in Williamsburg. A lengthy explanatory article is linked HERE. I think the building once included the parish elementary school. Land values in Williamsburg have risen, and the parish earned the renovation cash by leasing other properties on the same square block.  Apparently, the parish never owned the entire block. 


Please read also my previous post about this parish, taking care to note the helpful comments at the end of the post.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Big sale of property, St. John the Baptist

In June, 2021, an important article appeared on the St. John's University website, mainly describing the recent transference of the original 1869 cornerstone from Brooklyn to Queens.  The lengthy article also offered more news about the current construction.  Link Preserving History.


St. John's on Lewis Avenue is a property I have not explored, though it is important in the history of the diocese of Brooklyn. Today, the Commercial Observer disclosed the sale of what the buyers call 800 Willoughby Avenue. That is the north transept of the Church of  St. John the Baptist. For decades, the stained glass windows have been boarded up (against rock-tossing vandals), and I am told that a cinder-block bunker was installed in the vast nave as a chapel of worship. Two hundred four apartments will be built in the church. A gym and a two-story garage will be built. A 2013 video linked HERE gives a good idea of the areas outside the "box" with a few glimpses of the active and intimate worship chapel.


In the ten days since I first posted this I have not found any corroboration of the article in the Commercial Observer. There is a chance that the financial sources don't add up to the amount needed for the deal, or some other obstacle has blocked it. Edit 3.3.2021.


The article does not disclose how much of the church property has or will be bought. The greatest extent seems to be a half-block, with Lewis Avenue on the west end, Willoughby Avenue on the north, and Hart Street on the south. Two years ago (looking at Google Street View), the entrance was a gate on the north side of Hart Street. Now, the directions for weekday Mass instruct people to enter the Daily Mass chapel from Willoughby Avenue. 


St. John's College was long here until it moved to Union Turnpike, Jamaica. Whether any property on either side of Lewis Avenue is owned by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian Fathers) is not explained. The article reads as if the seller is the parish of St. John the Baptist.


The parish merged with that of Our Lady of Good Counsel, which has a maintained smaller church.  The merged parish has a up-to-date website HERE showing two Sunday Masses at St. John the Baptist and two at Our Lady of Good Counsel.

I may have to edit this report as I learn more.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

  Sad to relate, St. Agnes Academic HS, College Point, Queens will close.