Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Here is St. Brigid's!

It has been two-plus years since we're seen the front of the under-renovation St. Brigid's on Avenue B at East Eighth Street...

This afternoon, workers began removing the construction tarp and scaffolding. Bobby Williams is on the scene.

Behold the new St. Brigid's...



21 comments:

Anonymous said...

that's awesome. so is the work done?

EV Grieve said...

@anon

I believe there is still a good deal of work to do on the inside....

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, but when I think about all the money used to save a building that could have gone into mission-oriented community service programs, it hurts.

THE NOTORIOUS L.I.B.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. said...

Thank goodness CB3 had the good sense to turn down Subway's application to sponsor the confessional!

"Say three Hail Marys, two Our Fathers and remember, EAT FRESH!"

Zach said...

yep, they were hafway through demolishing it when it was declared a 'historic landmark'
but now it'll stand for another hundred or so years

Anonymous said...

wow!

Anonymous said...

Looks good!!!

Gojira said...

Anon. 4:13 - let me guess, your middle name is Killjoy. "It hurts" - please, cut the drama. Rehabbing and re-opening this church IS a community service, and one that will last far longer than any other would have.

Anonymous said...

getting tense again

Anonymous said...

who was the mystery donor

EV Grieve said...

@ anon 10:43

Good question. The archdiocese never disclosed the donor's name.

Nobody's Wife said...

What is happening with the parish? Mass was held in the school before the Archdiocese decided to close the parish. I had hoped that they would re-establish and nurture the parish while getting the church restored.

Anonymous said...

I’ll try and clear up a few misconceptions as I live near the Church and have been following the process since it began nearly 10 years ago.
1. The Church was never declared a NYC landmark. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission ruled against the request for status by a group of individuals because: a) The Church had been modified too much over the years to determine what exactly was part of the requested status. b) It was in a horrible state of disrepair at the time and its very survival made it a huge risk. c) The Landmarks Commission rarely designates Churches because they change so often and the various entities that own the churches don't want to be designated because it makes it difficult for them to make significant changes. They have a very strong lobby in NYC.
2. The central portion of the facade scaffolding was removed yesterday because the contractor needs to start work on the front stairs. He is hoping his portion of the project (all the major interior and exterior construction) will be completed this summer. Significant work to do still on the two towers, roof, exterior fencing, the back, and the interior. Once their work is done the "liturgical package" work begins: including all interior furnishings-pews, alter, and hopefully the original Keely carved organ. Keely was the original architect and when the Archdiocese tried to demolish the Church '04-'06, the City courts mandated the Archdiocese carefully remove and preserve all interior artifacts. Now no one seems to know where the organ & many other artifacts have gone. a tremendous pity and in contravention of Court orders The organ was a beautiful piece of work.
Once the liturgical package is complete, the church has to go through a number of city inspections and approvals. My guess is that St. Brigid's might open up for 'business' sometime in the early-mid fall. The new parish priest has already moved into the adjacent rectory.
3. The "anonymous" donor is still a mystery. No one has stepped forward to admit making the original $20 million donation, which most likely grew by an additional $10 million after work began and the architects realized they would have to completely redo the outside & foundation. Of the original $20 million, $10 million was dedicated to the restoration, $8 million was given to St. Brigid's school next door and $2 million was put in a church maintenance fund. Some have speculated that it was Chuck Feeny, multimillionaire Irish-American philanthropist, who made his fortune with duty-free shops and started the Atlantic Philanthropies Foundation. Both he and the foundation have steadfastly denied this-Easy to see why. Others suggest that the Archdiocese itself anonymously 'found' the money in order to stave off a confrontation with the New York State Supreme Court where a final case was pending back in 2006, If the Church lost that case it would have had tremendous implications for the ownership of Church property throughout the entire country.

COMMENT CONTINUES TO NEXT BOX

Anonymous said...

CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS COMMENT:


4. There are many good things the current restoration architects, Acheson and Doyle, have done with their budget to bring the church back to the original vision and design of Keely, and execution by the Famine-Irish boat wrights from the local EV community who helped build it back in 1848. They have restored the original brownstone facade, re-made the original windows, made beautiful replacement stain-glass windows, (after the Archdiocese willfully destroyed the original hand painted windows in the summer of 2006, in an effort to show its strength and disdain for the community and hasten the demolition process. The courts issued an injunction stopping the demolition pending the outcome of the case back then), they have painstakingly restored the interior and replaced the old rotting roof with a batten seam, all copper roof. But they have failed to add back the original 50-foot high steeples on each tower, which could easily be done. And they will not restore the cast-iron fencing around the church--The exact same fencing used & still surrounding Grace Church on B;way and 10th st. This will be replaced with an aluminum fence the contractor assures is quite elegant. They did a slap-dash job on the facade of the rectory, quite beautiful originally. But they have done wonderful work supporting the rear wall of the building, the cause of all the structural trouble. It began peeling away from the rest of the church about 30 years ago after an adjacent building was demolished. They have restored and refaced with copper the Crucifix atop the church, and they will replace the original pentacles that were on each corner of the towers. However, they don't seem to be adding back the carved details along the top front ridge of the peeked roof and no one knows if they are planning to return the huge bronze bell removed for "repair" over a year ago.

Hope this helps clarify things a bit.

Dave - Everywhere said...

Anon @ 7:13

Thanks for the details. I've been watching this story for a while here and your posts tied all the random bits I've been reading quite nicely.

EV Grieve said...

@ Anon 7:13

I second what Dave - Everywhere said.

I should post all this in a single, uh, post...

Anonymous said...

we know it wasn't matt dillon. anon 4:13. if you have 10 mm to donate you can do whatever you like.

Anonymous said...

wow its been ten years already. i hope it raises the prop values.

Anonymous said...

so which anon am i? i'm so confused by all these anons. maybe we're all the same individual or group of individuals.

Anonymous said...

my guess is bloomberg.

Lower East Side Frank said...

Anyone know what happened to the elementary school next to the church? A lot of my childhood friends went there.