Interior Demolition for a Bed Stuy Church

Demolition’s happening at the beautiful church building at 261 Skilllman Street, at Bedford. The structure sold to a developer back in 2008 for $4,100,000. Here are the plans, according to the Department of Buildings: “Interior demolition, partial demolition and build out of the uses.” According to permits filed back in 2008, 48 apartment units are proposed and the project architect is Karl Fischer. The demolition’s currently happening in the back of the building, so perhaps the front exterior will be preserved, although that’s not clear in any of the DOB records. The Bedford Stuyvesant Society for Historical Preservation expressed concern about this demolition but also isn’t sure what will happen to the front exterior. Very sad news if this ends up being a hack job and not a sensitive build out… see pictures of the backend demolition after the jump.
Bed-Stuy Church Sold to Developer [Brownstoner] GMAP

9 Comment

  • really sad but I sure this will be the norm soon… Landmark Bedford Stuyvesant!

  • In a city increasingly made up of atheists, churches are surplus property. It’s just a fact. Tiny congregations can no longer afford to maintain ancient church buildings that are way overdue for repairs.

    • Minard. I agree with the second part of your statement. The whole “atheist” thing doesn’t really apply here.

      The “church” business, especially in communities of color, is as robust as ever but, as you said – the economics of renting or owning and maintaining large church buildings by small independent congregations, are simply not desirable. Buildings are buildings, they get re-purposed like any other piece of real estate all the time, just look at all the ex-synagogues in East new york that got turned into churches and other things.

  • CrownLFC, church attendance is plummeting in “commuties of color” too, so even in mostly nonwhite communities, there is a surplus of houses of worship.

    As the decades pass, more and more churches will be converted to residential, demolished for new development, or adapted for other purposes.

    • Osito, I wish that were so but go down any storefront laden ave in certain areas and you will see the it is not the case.

      The City recently lost its case to prevent “churches” from renting school space. There is a waiting list.

      The church business is booming, albeit in a fragmented way. If attendance was “plummeting,” why were mega-churches recently built, on fulton bet Classon and Franklin Ave, Empire – bet Nostrand and New York, and all those converted theatres on Flatbush and Eastern Parkway, solidly being used.

      You are right, the population and congregations of traditional “houses of worship” and the religions they promote, are on the decline, coupled with the land they occupy, being more valuable but don’t think, for a second – that the hustle is up.

  • Just for comparison, here’s what the back of the church (on Skillman St.) looked like before the demolition. I can’t believe something this beautiful was allowed to be demolished.

    • Ironically, I think in that location if they’d renovated the interior and let that, they’d get more money for the condos than they will (at least in the short term) than with whatever crap they’re going to put up.

  • It was really beautiful. Use to walk by it to get coffee every day. Unbelievable. How can a building like that not be protected by some preservation agency. Another coffin coming up.