The battle to save an aging Brooklyn church has ended in rubble. The Our Lady of Loreto Church on the border of Brownsville and Ocean Hill has been demolished, marking the end of a campaign by elected officials and community members to preserve the Roman Catholic church. Brooklyn Eagle first reported the building’s demolition.
With the site leveled, Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corp., who holds a long-term lease on the property according to Brooklyn Eagle, will move forward with a plan to construct low-income housing on the site.
The church was shuttered by the Brooklyn diocese in 2009 after a lack of patronage prohibited it from remaining financially viable. A piecemeal deal was worked out by the diocese and preservationists that allowed the church to remain standing while affordable housing was built on nearby sites that were once owned by the church. Preservationists maintained the hope that the church itself would be used as a community center in the future.
Demolition permits were approved for the site in March, signaling a last-ditch effort to preserve the church at Sackman and Pacific streets. However, the plan to repair and restore the church and make it an arts and community center was deemed to be too expensive, with Catholic Charities saying it was too dangerous to leave the existing structure standing in its poor state.
Construction plans for the new affordable housing building have yet to be filed with the Department of Buildings, but the Daily News previously reported that Catholic Charities plans to bring 64 affordable units to the site.