The Park Avenue Christian Church at the corner of East 85th Street wants to sell its rectory and parish house to a residential developer, but neighbors and the Landmarks Preservation Commission are trying to stop the project. Extell Development submitted plans to the city that called for a mindboggling 210-foot tower that cantilevered over the historic church, wrapping around its 70-foot spire and blocking stained glass windows on the south side of the church. The LPC was so alarmed by the building that the Wall Street Journal says they are considering plans to turn the area of Park Avenue into a historic district.
Because of the backlash, Extell and the church agreed to hold off on development until at least the end of September. The cantilevered condo plans were withdrawn, and Extell is drafting a new proposal. They hired preservation experts Beyer Blinder Belle to design the new building, and in a statement, the developer said they want to "find a solution that preserves the church and is acceptable to all parties." Last Wednesday, the local community board passed a resolution to designate both the church and surrounding buildings as landmarks.
· Condo Proposal Above a Church Roof Irks Park Avenue [WSJ]
· Losing Our Religion [Curbed]