Church of the Redeemer at Fourth Avenue and Pacific Street

Church near arena to be demolished, rebuilt with retail or housing

The Brooklyn Paper
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Religious leaders will bulldoze a crumbling-but-historic church steps from the Barclays Center and construct a new house of worship — and a shopping or living space above it, church officials say.

Congregation leaders at Church of the Redeemer — a 150-year-old brick building on Pacific Street and Fourth Avenue — say the aging edifice must be demolished because it’s structurally unsafe.

“We want to take something condemned and turn it into something beautiful,” said congregation spokesman Shawn Duncan.

The Episcopal church plans to partner with a private developer to construct a building with a church on the ground floor and either residential or commercial space above it.

Duncan said no details about the size or aesthetics of the building have been confirmed — but city zoning permits a structure up to 120 feet tall, or roughly ten stories, at the site.

Neighbors mourned the loss of the charming structure, which sits on a piece of real estate near the soon-to-open arena, saying several other old and beautiful houses of worship have been demolished in recent years in the so-called Borough of Churches.

“It’s sad,” said Howard Kollins, a Boerum Hill resident. “These churches should be preserved — but they are difficult to maintain.”

Kollins added that news tenants should be encouraged to use public transportation to ease traffic near the Barclays Center.

The congregation now “wants to work with neighbors” on a plan for the site, Duncan said.

“We want the building reborn in a positive way,” he said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:34 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Steve Lindsey from Keene, NH says:
Yep... Build yourselves a wonderful, brick-faced cinder block building. And bury the beauty bequeathed to you by your forebears.

Hon. Steven W Lindsey
state rep
Keene, NH
June 29, 2012, 5:19 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just another building lost in the claim of progress. However, I doubt anyone is going to take it, so it will probably just be left with empty space in it for years to come. I still doubt that the AY will be a magic bullet for the area considering many of the broken promises FCR claimed to many just for taking his side. The best some get now is a t-shirt saying this, "I support FCR on this project and all I got with this lousy t-shirt."
June 29, 2012, 5:22 pm
Alan from S. Williamsburg says:
The main problem with Brooklyn is that it has too much housing available. We should prevent new housing from being built, to solve that problem.
June 30, 2012, 8:21 pm
Billy from The Burg says:
Only 3 clueless responses?
July 1, 2012, 5:04 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I take it you have been living under a rock during this entire issue, because I have been following since the begining. The point of the AY was just another developer who wanted to get more land and have it subsidized through city and state taxes. As for this church, it should be saved, not torn down. Only a Ratner shill will claim that the responses against it are clueless.
July 1, 2012, 5:38 pm
Billy from The Burg says:
No, actually I talked to people who went to the Boerum Hill Association meeting where the Anglican Diocese was decent enough to come in front of the community and be up front about the problems and what they were considering. The very persuasive line that was reported to me was "Restoring the building would cost $80 million which is money we don't think should be spent just on a building but on our mission--helping people." They are a church, after all. They don't know what they will be doing but they made an important first step in keeping the community involved, which they frankly didn't have to do. I somehow cannot compare the Anglican Diocese of New York to Bruce Ratner and the Markowitz circus.

The 3 responses I spoke about are clueless because they don't speak to the reality of the situation, which is understandable since the reporter didn't talk about the public meeting for some reason. Not everything is about Atlantic Yards. Actually the third response was just Alan being snarky, anyway. So 2 clueless responses and a snark attack. I amend.
July 1, 2012, 8:32 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I still don't find the AY to be a magic bullet for the area. Let's not forget that Ratner has a history of giving broken promises with all of his previous projects, and some of that goes all the way back to when he built Metro Tech Center, which also destroyed an entire neighborhood. His Atlantic Center Mall is pretty much the same, and he even ruined the Atlantic Terminal when he got the air rights over it. Still, I find it a major loss to see this church gone. I am sure that many will support the funds to keep that church rather than have it be demolished. As for the AY complex, the rest may never get built and left as interim lots for decades to come, while the arena itself has already been proven to be a net money loser.
July 2, 2012, 4:03 pm
fatimah from cobble hill says:
Tear down houses of worship and build houses of greed. 150 year old building? Where is the Landmarks committee when you need them? Maybe Ratner will build a drive-through church. And he can charge a toll to pass through it.
July 3, 2012, 4:31 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
It is obvious to anyone with eyes that the same people behind this are the hamasing zealouts of streetsblogger. I suspect the real goal is to build yet another bicycle store and try to impose their view of the future on everyone else, irreguaurdless of merit. I am getting tired of being the only sane person here.
July 12, 2012, 10:41 am
Chris from Gowanus says:
The Church of the Redeemer has been a beautiful touch of the past on that block of Pacific Street but I'm sure it's a money pit and the congregation is small. I do think this has nothing to do with the monstrous development a couple of blocks away. The Episcopal Church simply can't afford to maintain the church, much though they might want to. What's being offered sounds reasonable to me. They get a new church and the neighborhood gets more housing and/or commercial space. Maybe the church even comes out of it with a bit of an endowment.
July 13, 2012, 6:57 am
Melville from Boerum Hill 1800's says:
My great-great grandfather played the organ at that church, I wish I could have gone to a service there when I am up this weekend but I guess I will have to just see it from the outside. Well, his son did play at St. Patrick's Cathedral in the late 1800's so I guess I can settle.
June 6, 2013, 9:41 pm

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