As we first noted on Jan. 14, St. Brigid's will reopen with an invite-only mass Sunday at 5 presided over by Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Nearly 11 years have passed since the last mass in the main church (there were services in the school basement next door until 2004).
This piece in the Times from 2006 provides a quick summation of the drama involving the near-demolition of the historic church ... and the work of the parishioners and neighbors who never gave up hope that they could save the church. (The Villager thoroughly covered this story through the years. Check out the paper's archives. And we've noted even the most mundane construction detail through the years here.)
Here then are a few key dates in the church's history:
1848 — Workers place the church's cornerstone
1858 — St. Brigid's School opens on East Eighth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C
1861 — Church holds a Requiem Mass for the men of the 69th New York State Militia who had been killed during the Civil War
1889 — Church finally consecrated
1890 — the first Greek Catholic Mass in New York City was celebrated in the basement by Rev. Alexander Dzubay
1954 — New St. Brigid's School opens on Avenue B and East Seventh Street, where it remains today
1962 — Church spires removed because of safety concerns
1988 — Church allows homeless advocates and protesters of the police action to mobilize under its roof during the Tompkins Square Park Riots
[EVG, circa 2008]
1992 — East wall begins separating from the building
2001 — Cardinal Edward M. Egan closes the church
2006 — Demolition begins; parishioners file suit against the Archdiocese, temporarily halting work
2008 — Anonymous "angel" donates $20 million to restore church
2013 — Church reopens
Sources: Wikipedia and Dayton in Manhattan. Oh, and Wikipedia
Photos via the NYPL Digital Gallery.
For further reading:
Dry Dock, shipyards, and St. Brigid's (EV Transitions)
Here's to the next 165 years...