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As the demographics of central Brooklyn have changed over the years, synagogues in once heavily Jewish areas have gone on to have other lives. Ellen Levitt, author of “The Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn” will lead a bike tour of former Jewish houses of worship in Crown Heights, Brownsville and East Flatbush next Sunday.

Many are now churches and retain many of their original details. Participants will visit the former Shaari Zedek at 221 Kingston Avenue (pictured above) and the former Congregation Men of Justice at 1678 Park Place, a Building of the Day last year.

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Brownstoner reader brooklynverni snapped these dramatic photos Thursday of an excavator demolishing one of Bed Stuy’s oldest buildings, the pre-Civil War Carpenter Gothic church at 809 Jefferson Avenue. Demo for the St. Stephen and St. Martin Episcopal Church started in January.

Features such as the building’s stained glass and pews were removed, the interior was stripped bare, and then nothing much seemed to be happening for a couple of months.

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The end is nigh for Boerum Hill’s mid-19th-century Church of the Redeemer, despite efforts to save it. Yesterday Demolition Depot sent out a notice that the 4th Avenue church’s historic artifacts and architectural details are for sale and that demolition will start “next month.”

Included in the sale are stained glass windows, large amounts of elaborate Victorian encaustic cement tile, neo-Gothic light fixtures, a crucifix, Gothic-style doors, statuary, pews, radiators, and exterior iron fencing. All the items for sale can be seen on Demolition Depot’s website.

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The Carpenter Gothic church at 809 Jefferson Avenue, one of Bed Stuy’s oldest structures, is now a mere shell. Demolition to make way for apartments and a new church started in January.

From the street, it appears the building has been hollowed out. The historic stained glass windows and other features have been removed. The church was standing in 1854, old maps show, and may even date from the 1840s, as we have said.

The photo above was taken last week. All the others were taken yesterday. Click through to see more.

809 Jefferson Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP

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Queens isn’t often recognized for its architecture, but we do have plenty of fascinating buildings. Actually, it’s fitting that some of the most noteworthy architecture in the borough reflects our incredible cultural and religious diversity. Here’s a look at some of the churches, temples, and other houses of worship that punctuate our neighborhoods with beauty.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

In Whitestone, the futuristic St. Nicholas Orthodox Church (GMAP) is all curves: there’s a metallic barrel roof, oval windows and accents, and a bulbous, bright blue onion dome. The Russian Orthodox house of worship was designed by Sergey Padukow of New Jersey and built in 1968, and continues to catch our attention with its retro spaceship design.