Friday, January 25, 2013

13 keys dates in the 165-year history of St. Brigid's, reopening on Sunday

[May 2012]

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...

[This morning]


Anonymous said...

Any idea why the name was changed from Bridget to Brigid?

rob said...

There's a wonderful hand-drawn aerial view
of Manhattan from around 1860 or so that shows churches
larger than scale to identify their neighborhoods. A huge
St. Brigid's, its spires rising
implausibly tall, towers
over the park. It is given as much prominence as
Trinity Church on B'way. The map is on line -- I'll
look for it.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful photo!