Roof Collapsing at Crown Heights Church


This was the scene this afternoon at the St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church on the corner of Classon Avenue and Sterling Place. Police taped off the entire block and looked like they were waiting for the portion of the roof to fall off. This church was built in 1905; the twin towers have clock faces on the right and the carillon of ten bells on the left. It’s the right tower with the structural damage. See a BOTD post here. See more pictures after the jump, including a dramatic shot of the collapse happening on the other side of the building.



7 Comment

  • Looks like the pressed metal cornice. Those are lightweight compared to stone or brick, but still quite heavy and dangerous. I hope they are able to get it down safely, and repair the cornice somehow. This parish doesn’t have a lot of money, and the church is not landmarked, so I hope they consult someone who gives them a solution they can afford, as well as something that doesn’t ruin the building.

  • Looks like the pressed metal cornice. Those are lightweight compared to stone or brick, but still quite heavy and dangerous. I hope they are able to get it down safely, and repair the cornice somehow. This parish doesn’t have a lot of money, and the church is not landmarked, so I hope they consult someone who gives them a solution they can afford, as well as something that doesn’t ruin the building.

  • I suspect that this parish is hanging by a thread and Bishop di Marzio will grab any opportunity to close the church and sell off the property. After all there are several other Catholic parishes within walking distance.

  • I suspect that this parish is hanging by a thread and Bishop di Marzio will grab any opportunity to close the church and sell off the property. After all there are several other Catholic parishes within walking distance.

  • I wouldn’t have high hopes for that cornice being repairable. It looked pretty compromised even before the storm. If you look closely you’ll notice the other tower has already had it replaced.

    By the way the crane is there now taking it down.

  • Yes, copper cornice flashing (painted brown). I worked at the church as Director of Liturgy & Music (through Dec. 2008) for nearly 16 years. The church was built in 1874 with structural additions and changes through the years. The portico was added as an open structure originally and then enclosed. That church is a diamond in the rough. If you have never been inside, it is quite beautiful with some of the most gorgeous pictorial windows flanking both sides of the nave. They are German or Austrian and the late pastor who asked me to take the job had just had the side windows appraised before I started working there. At that time, they were appraised at over a million dollars. The tower with damage has not been in great shape for quite a number of years. There were constant problems with pigeons and some grating on the roof side of the bell tower had pulled away and eventually fell on the roof. Pigeons had been a problem for years, even after a friend of the second pastor I worked with and I installed an electronic pigeon divice in the clock room about the bells. I don’t know how effective it has been. At same time we replaced the light bulbs in the clock faces but the clock then stopped worked within several years as did the bell striking the hour. I don’t know when it was last inspected by engineers but the tower houses 10 somewhat historic cast bells which are quite beautiful. The bells structure in the tower is in need of repair and attention and that would concern me even more than the cornice flashing coming off. Think of what happened at Christ Church in Cobble Hill this past summer. I truly adored working there and the parishioners I came to know were just wonderful folks. I still miss them and the church. It is a really special building and a huge physical plant. I hope the Bishop has it promptly inspected and any damage restored, if possible. I worry that particular tower may not be in very great shape. I was last up in the tower in about 2007 and internal brick facade of the bell level was in need of repointing and patching. My thoughts are with the parishioners, the secretary and wonderful Vicar Assistant who was there when I departed 12-08. I had the good fortune to work with three consecutive wonderful pastors there until July 2008.

  • Yes, copper cornice flashing (painted brown). I worked at the church as Director of Liturgy & Music (through Dec. 2008) for nearly 16 years. The church was built in 1874 with structural additions and changes through the years. The portico was added as an open structure originally and then enclosed. That church is a diamond in the rough. If you have never been inside, it is quite beautiful with some of the most gorgeous pictorial windows flanking both sides of the nave. They are German or Austrian and the late pastor who asked me to take the job had just had the side windows appraised before I started working there. At that time, they were appraised at over a million dollars. The tower with damage has not been in great shape for quite a number of years. There were constant problems with pigeons and some grating on the roof side of the bell tower had pulled away and eventually fell on the roof. Pigeons had been a problem for years, even after a friend of the second pastor I worked with and I installed an electronic pigeon divice in the clock room about the bells. I don’t know how effective it has been. At same time we replaced the light bulbs in the clock faces but the clock then stopped worked within several years as did the bell striking the hour. I don’t know when it was last inspected by engineers but the tower houses 10 somewhat historic cast bells which are quite beautiful. The bells structure in the tower is in need of repair and attention and that would concern me even more than the cornice flashing coming off. Think of what happened at Christ Church in Cobble Hill this past summer. I truly adored working there and the parishioners I came to know were just wonderful folks. I still miss them and the church. It is a really special building and a huge physical plant. I hope the Bishop has it promptly inspected and any damage restored, if possible. I worry that particular tower may not be in very great shape. I was last up in the tower in about 2007 and internal brick facade of the bell level was in need of repointing and patching. My thoughts are with the parishioners, the secretary and wonderful Vicar Assistant who was there when I departed 12-08. I had the good fortune to work with three consecutive wonderful pastors there until July 2008.