Community Rallies Today to Save Long Vacant Our Lady of Loreto Church

Photo by Flavia Alaya via Save Our Lady of Loreto

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Locals are once again gearing up in the battle to save a beloved Ocean Hill church. Today at 2 p.m. New York State Senator Tony Avella and the Brownsville Cultural Coalition will gather for a press conference at Our Lady of Loreto Church at 126 Sackman Street in support of efforts to designate and preserve the building.

The church was shuttered by the diocese in 2009 and since then it has been an ongoing struggle between preservation and demolition. After the closure and abandoning plans for demolition, the diocese leased the land to another Catholic organization, Catholic Charities.

An agreement was signed with the State Historic Preservation Office not to demolish the church, and to build an $18 million development consisting of 64 affordable units on part of the land. The plan to reuse the church as a community center never panned out.

My Grandma Evelyn went to the school here in the 30s/40s. #eastnewyork #brooklyn #ourladyofloreto

In June 2016, the Diocese of Brooklyn filed a request for the “full demolition” of the church. That permit has not been granted and on February 23 of this year the State Historic Preservation Office sent a letter to the diocese “strongly” encouraging them to work with the Brownsville Cultural Coalition in efforts to conduct a conditions study to assess possible uses for the building.

The Renaissance style church was completed in 1908 and designed by architect Adriano Armezzani, an Italian immigrant who worked with fellow Italian craftsmen — including a sculptor, painter and builder — to complete the project. Locals are advocating for the designation of the building as a New York City landmark and the creation of a community cultural center.

The rally with Senator Avella is free and open to the public. More information about the event can be found here.

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