Thursday, May 22
$20 Million Later, St. Brigid's (NYC) Saved
Structural damage to St. Brigid's
St. Brigid Church has been saved from demolition by a $20 million anonymous gift.
An Irish Famine-era church, it had been sealed off due to structural problems (as seen in the above picture) in 2001. For financial reasons and due to the proximity of Holy Redeemer, the massive former German parish, the parish was closed in 2004, and the building was set to be sold and demolished afterwards.
The NYT clarifies that the gift "includes $10 million to restore the building... $2 million to establish an endowment for the parish... and $8 million to support the St. Brigid’s School."
This is certainly good news for the neighborhood and for historians (and for our sentimentally nationalistic Irish friends!). The building itself is not excessively attractive, and as you can see from pictures at the link below. The humble facade once had steeples, but these were removed for structural reasons in 1962. The only fetching feature still in place the last time the church was open to the public seems to have been the pipe organ. Whether or not the organ, or anything else, is still in place is uncertain, since the archdiocese had already begun to disassemble the building, and the Archdiocese of New York did some pretty serious pre-demolition work to other parishes slatted for controversial closures, such as Our Lady of Vilnius.
More Photos, from "Save St. Brigid"
A history of the building and its contents