Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Former convent, now part of Pilgrim Baptist Church complex
Address: 144 Covert Street
Cross Streets: Evergreen and Central Avenues
Year Built: probably 1890s, early 20th century
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival with Arts and Crafts details
Architect: probably Schickel & Ditmars
Other Buildings by Architect: German Catholic churches, convents and schools throughout Brooklyn and NYC. Also much of Lenox Hill Hospital’s original buildings.
The story: Germans began immigrating to the United States after 1848, when civil war among the German city-states caused thousands to flee their homeland. They settled in many different parts of the United States, and a great many came to Manhattan and to Brooklyn. A very large and increasingly successful community settled in the Eastern District, which included Bushwick, parts of Williamsburg and eastern Bedford.
Many of the new Brooklynites were Lutheran, and established many Lutheran churches, but equally large amounts were Catholic. They petitioned the Irish Catholic Church hierarchy to establish parishes in their communities, and the first Bishop of Brooklyn, John McLaughlin, was more than happy to do so. With large Irish, German and Polish communities springing up in Brooklyn in the mid-19th century and later, Catholics were the fastest growing denomination in the city. (more…)