almost two years since Massive 6 alarm fire With all but the façade of the Middle Collegiate Church on Second Avenue in the East Village destroyed, church officials spent more than $4 million to prepare a potential construction area to rebuild the nearby church. spent.
However, Pastor Jacqui Lewis, who has been with the Middle Collegiate Church since 2004, said that although the façade appeared to be in good condition, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission ruled that the façade must be restored. In that case, she said her church could be forced to find a new home. stop.
What you need to know
- The only part of the building that was not destroyed in the massive fire on December 5, 2020 was the facade of the historic Middle Collegiate Eighth Church.
- Church officials tried to save the façade, but were informed by engineers that it was structurally unsafe
- The church is awaiting a decision by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on whether to approve the ground-up rebuild request.
“We can’t do it. We can’t make it work. Our engineers say it’s dangerous,” said Reverend Lewis. “We are not going to do anything dangerous to save bricks. We want to do something safe to save lives in communities that need our love and support. ”
Since the land on which the church has been located since the 1890s is part of the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, church officials are expected to begin rebuilding the church when the commission reconvenes a week from Tuesday. I would like my application to be reviewed and approved. scratch.
“On December 6th, the Landmarks Commission will have a chance to decide the next part of our story,” said Reverend Lewis. “Because our story cannot happen on this site, whose façade is deteriorating and degenerating.”
At the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission virtual hearing last week, commissioners heard public comments from the church’s architects and engineers.
The Commissioner also heard comments from organizations such as the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative. While this is certainly sympathetic to the challenges facing the church since the December 5, 2020 fire, it said it hoped that all boulevards would be surveyed and the façades preserved. historic church.
Lower East’s Richard Moses said, “The demolition of the church, which has served as an architectural and spiritual beacon for more than a century, will have a profound impact not only on the community, but also on the character of this very important historic district. ‘ said. Side save initiative.
Church officials said it was unlikely that the church could be rebuilt elsewhere in the East Village due to the high cost of real estate.