NEW YORK — A fight over a landmarked Upper West Side church will ramp up this weekend with a rally outside that will include celebrities — such as actor Mark Ruffalo — activists and neighbors.
For 133 years, the West-Park Presbyterian Church was the most noticeable thing at West 86th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. It was given landmark status 13 years ago by the city Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).
Now, the owners of the church want to reverse that, claiming a financial hardship.
“They want to de-landmark it so they can tear it down and build another 20-story luxury high-rise here,” Ruffalo said.
Ruffalo, who lives nearby, will join a rally Saturday afternoon with fellow celebrities, preservation advocates, attorneys and everyday Upper West Siders.
“I just know that this building is going to be the next domino to fall unless there’s some sort of intervention,” preservation lawyer Michael Hiller said.
“People that just look and see that there’s a church on the corner, there’s a safety there,” said Rev. Dr. Derrick McQueen.
A spokesman for the West Park congregation tell us they reluctantly want to sell because upkeep is too costly. Proper repairs and renovations could cost the congregation an estimated $50 million, according to its own survey.
That made this deal attractive: a proposed sale to Alchemy Properties Inc. for $33 million.
But for this to happen, landmark status must end. The LPC hears public testimony June 13.
“We see it as the only practical way forward for this congregation to survive,” said Roger Leaf, chairman of West-Park Presbyterian’s administrative commission.
The congregation says the tens of millions of dollars it would get from the developer would be put to great use, advancing its church mission to help communities across New York City.
Organizers of Saturday’s rally want Tuesday’s hearing postponed so more solutions can be brought to the table.
“I want to preserve the history of the city. We see it gobbled up every single day,” Ruffalo said.
“The church can be transformed into a functioning interfaith space that can also promote the arts, can promote the community,” filmmaker and playwright Kenneth Lonergan said.
Those who say they are ready to rally want more time to find a private government partnership to save this landmark.
John Reynolds, Product Manager for Aleo, on ZK Tech, Privacy, and Safeguarding Personal Information | Ep. 268
Ifuru Island Maldives Officially Opens
Indiana schools move to arm teachers with guns kept in biometric safes: ‘A line of defense’
Amazon sued by FTC and 17 states over allegations it inflates online prices and overcharges sellers
FDNY graduates nearly 150 probationary EMTs in Brooklyn ceremony
Best Yoga Mat for Hot Yoga, According to Experts in 2023
Saysh Felix Runner Review: An Everyday Training Shoe for Cushiony Miles
How to Stop Protein Farts and Smelly Gas From Ruining Your Workouts
The Biggest Red Flags to Watch Out For at the Dentist
An Arms Workout With Dumbbells to Hit Your Biceps, Triceps and Shoulders
‘Deadliest Catch’: Inside Sig Hansen’s ‘Poisoned’ Relationship With His Estranged Daughter
America Going Electric: Dollars And Sense
New designs on office life: Companies hope the workplace can be ‘a magnet, not a mandate’
Elvis Presley’s ‘Love Me Tender’ Was Written by a Munchkin From ‘The Wizard of Oz’
How To Deal With Corruption Overseas
News22 hours ago
Pelosi, Newsom knock GOP candidates ahead of California debate
News13 hours ago
Conflict fatigue splintering support for Ukraine
News13 hours ago
SEAN HANNITY: The illusion has been shattered
News15 hours ago
Trump doesn’t buy gun after saying he wants to in South Carolina
Finance21 hours ago
The Unfortunate Solution To Sky-High Used-Car Prices: Buy An Older Model
Tech13 hours ago
Practically Everything About the Pixel 8 and Pixel Watch 2 Has Been Leaked
Lifestyle13 hours ago
Hayden Panettiere Pays Tribute to Late Brother Jansen on His Birthday
Auto24 hours ago
2024 Kia Forte Price Starts At $20,915, $330 More Than Last Year