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Little Church, Big Deal on 29th Street

A Curbed exclusive by way of a special correspondent: the much loved and landmarked Little Church Around the Corner (aka the Church of Transfiguration) on East 29th Street (above, looking east) just off Fifth Avenue has apparently struck a deal with the devil... er, with developers. The church's auxiliary structure, a modern addition to the east, will be demolished and combined with other properties to the north on 30th Street to create a thru-block parcel for a 50-story residential tower. Writes our correspondent,

How do we know this? We live on the block and for several weeks have noticed surveyors taking measurements. Then we noticed architect-types with interesting eyewear loitering on the block, snapping digital photos. When approached they were all hush hush, refusing to answer questions and walking back into the church. Then last week we saw two church workers on the block and asked them what was up. One remained silent but the other was good enough to give us the gory details. Demolition will begin in about a year. The church will take the first two or three floors of the tower for their programs. We lose our morning sunlight. And Manhattan loses a little piece of its soul.What happens now? Expect the preservationists to come out in force against the demolition. The Little Church, for its part, was made famous in 1870 with the exclamation, "God Bless the Little Church Around the Corner!" The chants may well be different this time.
· History of the Little Church [littlechurch.org]