A Reprieve for Historic Brownsville Church

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    In a surprise move, it appears that the Catholic Diocese has decided to spare the Lady of Loreto church from the wrecking ball. While the church has yet to issue a formal statement, The Daily News reported on Friday that a compromise has been reached that would avoid demolition. The decision comes after months of negotiations with a preservationist group comprised largely of Italian Americans that sought to save a piece of its cultural heritage that has fallen into disuse as the neighborhood has transformed over recent decades to a largely black community. The Catholic Church had been planning to tear down the turn of the century structure to make way for 88 units of affordable housing. Under the new preservation plan, the church will be preserved, possibly as some kind of community center, and 50 or so affordable apartments would be built. “It’s a toned-down plan but at least we have saved the church,” said Charles Piazza, who’s led the preservation fight. “There are a lot of conversations taking place but there have been no decisions,” said Msgr. Kieran Harrington, a Brooklyn Diocese spokesman.
    Brownsville Community Saves Church from Demolition [NY Daily News]
    Lady of Loreto’s Most Desperate Hour [Brownstoner]
    Fight to Preserve Ocean Hill Church [Brownstoner]
    Photo from Loretochurch.com

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