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‘Golden’ rule on Green Church

The Brooklyn Paper
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Preservationists intent on saving Fourth Avenue’s so-called “Green Church” were praying for help from state Sen. Marty Golden — but even after they showed him 1,179 signatures in support of rescuing the 109-year-old house of worship, they couldn’t convert the influential politician.

Opponents of the Bay Ridge United Methodist Church’s plan to demolish its decaying edifice to build condos hoped that the signatures would convince Golden (R–Bay Ridge) to use his clout to try to find a new developer interested in saving the historic green-hued granite structure.

“A couple of months ago, he told us he hadn’t heard much from the community [about the Green Church],” said Victoria Hofmo of the Committee to Save the Bay Ridge United Methodist Church. “That’s why we did the petition.”

But Golden won’t join the preservationist choir.

“The signatures are very nice, but they’re not going to pay for [the estimated $3 million of repairs],” said Golden spokesman John Quaglione.

“Looking at the financials, saving the building just isn’t possible,” he added.

Not surprisingly, Hofmo wasn’t happy.

“It’s disappoint­ing,” she said. “If this church comes down, it will have a huge effect on the community — architecturally, socially and spiritually. There are other alternativ­es.”

Last month, preservationists won some time to continue their fight after the Department of Buildings disapproved a proposed seven-story, 72-unit residential building, a smaller church, and a 42-car parking lot at the corner of Ovington Avenue.

New plans have not yet been filed.

Nonetheless, workers continue to prepare the verdant house of worship for its demise, stripping the church of asbestos, an Aug. 13 filing revealed.

Updated 5:08 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Dena Libner from Council District 43 says:
Councilman Vincent Gentile has been working closely with preservationists and the Green Church for nearly three years, searching for an alternative to the Church's demolition that will satisfy both the financial needs of the congregation and community members' desire to preserve the unique, historical structure.

Since last fall, Councilman Gentile has worked closely with third parties interested in the property and Church, and will continue to do so up until the day the building is torn down.

Dena Libner
Communications Director
Office of Councilman Vincent J. Gentile
District Office: 718-748-5200
Legislative Office: 212-788-7363
Fax: 718-748-5222
dlibner@council.nyc.gov
Aug. 15, 2008, 11:11 am
Scott from Bay Ridge says:
To say that: "Councilman Vincent Gentile has been working closely with preservationists and the Green Church for nearly three years..."

Is a rather dubious claim.

Rather, Gentile has pandered to his base, which consist largely of these "preservationists," while treating the congregation themselves as second class citizens.

Working with the congregation implies some level of cooperation, consultation, and even compassion; all of which Mr. Gentile has shown known.
Aug. 15, 2008, 4:56 pm
Michael from Bay Ridge says:
I don't see how Mr. Golden can say that preservation of this one of a kind building is not possible. It is highly possible and if those involved choose not to do so it will be a loss of history and architecture (amongst other things) for Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and the whole city of New York.
Are there no sources of funding for the protection of significant and historic buildings?
There are certainly options, and I hope that all of them are explored.
Aug. 19, 2008, 6:34 am
Josef Serf from Bay Ridge says:
Anyone who actually knew the facts of the matter would know that Councilman Gentile has indeed been working closely preservationists and the Green Church.

More importantly, many of those "preservationists" include the neighbors of the Green Church who are unanimously opposed to the demolition of the Church and a three story attached limestone rowhouse.

If anyone has been treated like second class citizens it is precisely the owners and residents of the attached limestone rowhouses who have been ignored by the church leadership who have chosen to commit what amounts to an act of vandalism in deciding to demolish that rowhouse.

Unfortunately, the media does not report this.
Aug. 23, 2008, 8:27 pm

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