Photo Tuesday by Steven
On Monday, workers will begin to remove the remains of Middle Collegiate Church's fire-damaged façade at 112 Second Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street.
Earlier this month, Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church, told us this is expected to be a two-to-three-month job. Lewis also explained that it's a combination demolition-salvage operation. Workers will sift through the remains of the building, initially completed in 1892, to save any of the limestone and ironwork for use in the new sanctuary that will eventually rise on the property.
As previously reported, church leaders said they must remove what remains on the property within the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District. According to a report commissioned by the church, the culmination of an 18-month review, there was too much damage to the existing structure to integrate it into Middle Collegiate's new home, that it wouldn't withstand a full-scale rebuild on the property.
On 3:30 Monday afternoon, church leaders and members of the Middle community "will gather to mourn the sanctuary it called home."
From an announcement about the start of the demoliton:
While this is a moment of communal grief, it will also clear the way for Middle to build a new sanctuary as the community continues to rise. The gathering will embody an ethos that has always defined New York: Resiliency that rebuilds from tragedy by reshaping the neighborhood in ways that honor the past but chart a bold new future.
The church structure was destroyed during a six-alarm fire early morning on Dec. 5, 2020. The fire reportedly started inside 48 E. Seventh St., the five-story residential building that once stood on this corner. FDNY officials blamed faulty wiring at the under-renovation No. 48 and said the fire had been deemed "non-suspicious."
By December 2024, officials hope to create a new worshiping space for up to 225 people in a two-story structure adjacent to the church and their property at 50 E. Seventh St.
Previously on EV Grieve: