Friday, March 28, 2008

St. Saviour's press conference Monday


St. Saviour's to be moved; press conference Monday
by Christina Wilkinson, Juniper Park Civic Association

There will be a press conference Monday, March 31st at 1pm to announce the tentative agreement between Maspeth Development, LLC and JPCA to move St. Saviour's to All Faiths Cemetery. It will take place at the St. Saviour's site, located at 57-40 58th Street in Maspeth. We expect to be able to provide access to the building for photography, etc.

Expected to attend are Councilman Tony Avella, representatives of Maspeth Development, LLC, the Historic Districts Council, Queens Civic Congress, Sano Demolition, McLoughlin Brothers and All Faiths Cemetery.

Any questions, please call Robert Holden, President of JPCA at 718-651-5865.

We do anticipate needing additional donations to make this a reality. Please send donations to:
Newtown Historical Society
c/o Juniper Park Civic Association
P.O. Box 790275
Middle Village, NY 11379
(Indicate "St. Saviour's" on memo line)

The Newtown Historical Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 organization and your donation is tax deductible. You may also donate online here.

Please also e-mail Christine Quinn, Speaker of the New York City Council, and ask her to expedite the release of $1 million in funds earmarked for the preservation of St. Saviour's in the 2008 budget.

More coverage at Urbanite, Historic Districts Council and Forgotten-NY.com.

(Also see page 5 of today's print edition of AM-NY.)

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

So.... everybody is freaking out about St Saviour's being torn down and come to find out it's being moved and preserved?

Why did they not bother to tell anybody any of this before?

Christina Wilkinson said...

Because it just happened. It was supposed to be torn down last week, but the owner had a change of heart at the last minute. It's not saved yet, though, there needs to be more fundraising.

Anonymous said...

In fairness to the convicted molester, was that Council 1 million dollar pledge the result of Pinky procurement, or is this something Christina Quinn or whoever culled together at the 11th hour?

Christina Wilkinson said...

God only knows. "It's there, it's not there, it's there but not for this, it's not there yet." These are among the many explanations we have received and I don't know what the true answer is.

ken said...

the church looks amazingly cool in its natural state. Wonder what sort of windows will be placed in the arched panes, after it's moved? Stained glass ones?

Anonymous said...

This is a fiction.

According the LPC, everything you see does not exist.

Anonymous said...

I cannot get over how beautiful this building is. I've always supported the preservation efforts for this building, and the revelation of its original finish should convince anyone who needed convincing that this needs to be preserved.

Too bad that won't include the city or LPC, who have their own agenda of selective preservation.

Anonymous said...

once the church is gone, what will happen to te land?what is going to be built there?

Anonymous said...

Where the $1 million come from ?

Anonymous said...

once the church is gone, what will happen to te land?what is going to be built there?

---------

or the people who spent years watching out for it?

would not have buidling housing as pinky wanted and keeping the church there been better for them?

Anonymous said...

Is the cemetary donating the land to Newtown Historical?

For how long will the property around the site be empty of graves?

How much land is being donated, by the way, and how will the church fit into the plot?

How are you taking apart the church and insuring that it will be safe until its rebuilt?

Anonymous said...

yeah, so what is with us - neighbors - are we gonna face another dirty warehouse or even worse?
why is it a secret what is gonna happen to that land?

georgetheatheist said...

This move of the church reminds me of the moving of the Elgin marbles. The Greeks want these famous sculptures returned to them from the British museum. The city of Athens has constructed a new Parthenon museum where there is a space reserved for these sculptures. Artwork is continuously being sent back to their original countries: witness the return of such from the Metropolitan Museum to Italy.

Similarly, it seems to me that St.Saviour, certainly an architectural gem of artistry, will be out of place in the cemetery.

BTW, if the owner had "a change of heart" why not leave this art where it is? Why not build around it? Why not convert it for other uses?

[Hey Crapper, could you please post some photos of the cemetery site where the church will possibly be moved?]

Christina Wilkinson said...

As far as I know, the owner still does not have a buyer for the land, and would still need a zoning change to build houses there. The owner wants the land cleared. He had a change of heart about letting us take possession of the building rather than getting it out of the way as quickly as possible via demolition. Under the current circumstances, moving the building is the only option for any type of for preservation. We will attempt to determine whether or not there are graves on the property before the church is moved.

Anonymous said...

"would not have buidling housing as pinky wanted and keeping the church there been better for them?"

City planning was about to certify this plan, but the developer withdrew the application at the last minute, citing the downturn in the housing market. How many times do we have to go over this?

Anonymous said...

To Queens Crapper,
If there are graves on the property, I think there's legislation that prevents the property from being developed. Look into it.

Queens Crapper said...

As far as I know, there is no legislation, although if the developer wishes to seek a zoning change, they will most likely have to do archaeological field testing.

Anonymous said...

If Phidias' Parthenon pediment sculptures weren't
carried off by Lord Elgin for safe keeping,
they might have been destroyed.....
considering what occurred there over a long period.

I believe it was the Ottoman Turks
that once used this temple of Athena for,
of all things, a gunpowder magazine!

For the moment it's logical to save what you can.

Any more dumb comments
about moving St. Saviour's out of harm's way?

Anonymous said...

I would hesitate to compare any part of Queens to life in the Ottoman Empire of nearly two hundred years ago, (despite what some would say, is an all but official policy at benignly hollowing out much of the borough.)

The heritage of each neighborhood is all too often carted away, to be either held as trophies lending borrowed (and unearned) glory to the communities of the object's current residence ...

... or gracing some study in Vermont courtesy of ebay.

Every community deserves its heritage intact.

It is a right that should be witten into the city charter.

Anonymous said...

The people who live around the site are a lot more practical than this guy who wants the destruction of this landmark to be a lesson for the city. They understand the building needs to be moved in order to protect it. I don't have anything nice by my house, but I will happily take the bus to visit this church at Lutheran Cemetery.

georgetheatheist said...

1. The Venetians in 1687 fired upon the Parthenon where the Turks stored the gunpowder. Prior to that the building was used as a Byzantine and Latin church. It is a matter of speculation if the Turks would have destroyed the sculptures.

2. Lord Elgin was villified by certain segments of the British public for carting off Greece's cultural patrimony. His most famous accuser: Byron.

3. When Elgin carted the sculptures off to England in 100 crates, he himself visited damage on them by sawing off the panels' extremities. He also damaged the Parthenon itself with his crude hacking.

4. Monday's press conference we are led to believe will deal with moving St. Saviour"s. How will this be done? In toto? or piecemeal? I'm sure the transport of the building on either scale will be more "fun" to watch than when they unload the elephants for the circus.

5.GeorgetheAtheist's Plan for Middle Eastern peace: move the Wailing Wall (the remains of the Temple) to Madagascar or Wyoming or Tibet or wherever. And then have all the Israelis mass migrate to the new site leaving the vacated land to the Palestinians. Precedents? The British Raj was partitioned after WWII and Muslims and Hindus migrated to the countries of India and Pakistan (East and West). London Bridge was moved block-by-block to Lake Havasu City, Arizona where it currently spans the Colorado River.And now Queens' cultural and historical patrimony will be moved from Maspeth. What caused the Israeli developers to have "a change of heart"? Are these developers Israeli-Americans or Israeli nationals? "L'shana ha-ba-ah b'yerushalem." ("Next year in Jerusalem, no, make that Maspeth.")

6. A half a loaf is better than none - Queens, the half-loaf borough.

Anonymous said...

"L'george ha-ba-head b'knuckle." (George is a knucklehead.)

Trixie said...

I may be totally wrong but George is a polka fool-oo-ooollll, polka foool-ooollll.

Catch my NEW ad in the Trib.

Anonymous said...

"Every community deserves its heritage intact. It is a right that should be witten into the city charter."


I second that a million & one times over!

Anonymous said...

Every community truly deserves to have its history
remain intact..... Mr. B.S. from Astoria
(who really lives in Yorkville, Manhattan).

But WHAT HAVE YOU DONE
to guarantee St. Saviour's safety on site?

I can tell you....NOTHING but words!

And as "Eliza Doolittle" sings out in "My Fair Lady",
"Words, words , words, I'm so sick of words"!

georgetheatheist said...

Trixie, don't knock Polka. Dancing it is very aerobic. More invigorating than even the Samba. Trust me. A great cardio work-out! I'm gonna live to be 100!

Anonymous said...

The heritage of each neighborhood is all too often carted away, to be either held as trophies lending borrowed (and unearned) glory to the communities of the object's current residence ...
--------

You seem to have stirred up the QHS contingent.

Anonymous said...

And as "Eliza Doolittle" sings out in "My Fair Lady",
"Words, words , words, I'm so sick of words"!
----------

Agreed. Perhaps you need a little time out, then...

Anonymous said...

I don't have anything nice by my house, but I will happily take the bus to visit this church at Lutheran Cemetery.
--------

sure you will.

Anonymous said...

This building is not a modern construction, but likely pegged together.

You will need someone with some special knowledge of disassembly (not Carlos, Victor, and Ian from SAMO DEMO to take it apart), plenty of time to number every piece, a large warehouse to store it (you not going to put this outside in an empty lot (remember the cast iron of the Borgardus Building in the 70 that was taken apart,stored, then stolen)), and likely the dediction of the next decade of your life to raise funds to rebuild it.

Anonymous said...

There is an embittered old "granny",
I suspect from Astoria,
who keeps posting cryptic comments
discernible only perhaps to
creatures from another galaxy!

Earth calling
the armchair preservationist!