Developer Removes Steeple From Historic Bushwick Church, Plans “Surprise”

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Developer Cayuga Capital has removed the spire from the 19th-century church at 626 Bushwick Avenue it is converting into apartments, we noticed on several trips over the past few months. “The steeple had to be brought down for safety reasons and zoning does not allow it to exceed 70 feet,” Cayuga’s Jamie Wiseman told us when we inquired. “It was very old and unstable.”

However, the developer does intend to reconstruct a portion of it, and “we have a surprise in store to ensure the clocktower remains iconic,” he said.

“I’m sad about it too,” he continued. “We’ll use architectural lighting to try to make it remain the important part of the hood it once was. We are glad to have been able to maintain the school and church structures. We think our repurposing of the old stained glass both inside and outside will be of interest once we have it in place.”

The church is part of a block-long development at 616-628 Bushwick Avenue that also includes a former school and a large addition on the corner of Bushwick Avenue and Troutman Street. When it’s complete, the complex will have 99 apartments. The updated target date for completion of the units and leasing is spring of 2016, Wiseman said.

Noted Brooklyn architect Theobald Engelhardt designed the St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, which were built in 1892. Hustvedt Cutler Architects is the architect on the project, and 20 percent of the units will be affordable, as we have reported before.

626 Bushwick Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP
Rendering via Cayuga Capital

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Above and below, the church in April.

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Above, the church in March. Part of the steeple has been removed.

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Above, the church in February with its intact steeple.

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Above, the former school in February.

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A previously published rendering of the planned development.

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Above, the church in 2012. Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark.

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