A Curbed tipster emails, "This is that building on MacDougal Street (between 8th Street and Washington Place North) that used to be a Christian Scientist Church with a stark modern façade that is now being restored and converted to apartments. Scoffolding just coming down revealing a really interesting (I think) glass cornice." Oooh, we think so too!
The building, 171 MacDougal, dates to 1891—the work of architecture firm Renwick, Aspinwall and Russell. The Christian Science Church acquired the place in the 1920s, and in 1986, undertook the radical renovation that left the majority of the facade bricked up. Little surprise that a proposal by the Church to de-brick the facade and return it to something more approximating its original look won Landmarks approval in 2006. Work on the facade began in May 2007, as noted in CurbedWire.
Around that time, Architect Magazine did a nice writeup on the plan. Essentially, the congregation opted to sell the (unused!) upper floors of the building to a developer, who'd convert them into nine condos. With the funds, the Church hired Hanrahan Meyers Architects to remake the ground-floor reading room and chapel into something more uplifting:
Judging by pics from last fall posted on the architect's site, the ground floor is swinging into shape. What we don't know is the disposition of the heavenly condos above: anyone know who's scoring the listings on these? Intel to firstname.lastname@example.org, please.
· Project: Infinity Chapel [Hanrahan Meyers Architects]
· Projects: Christian Science Reading Room [Architect Magazine]
· CurbedWire: Christian Science Gets Current [Curbed]
· Recreation at 171 MacDougal [NY Daily Photo]