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UWS church once slated for condos will now hold Children's Museum of Manhattan

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The Central Park West Church was once slated for a conversion into 45 apartments

Former First Church of Christ, Scientist in New York City at 361 Central Park West
Former First Church of Christ, Scientist in New York City at 361 Central Park West.
Christopher Bride/PropertyShark

An Upper West Side church once slated for a condo conversion will now be the new home of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the Real Deal reports. Due to a steady surge of visitors, the museum has been looking to expand for quite some time now.

In 2016, the Museum was considering a move to the Lower East Side megaproject, Essex Crossing, but eventually decided against it. Now, the museum won’t have to move too far from its current location on West 83rd Street.

The move will take the museum less than 15 blocks north to 361 Central Park West. The museum purchased the church for $45 million, according to city records. That church, located between West 96th and 97th Streets, was once set to be converted into 35 apartments, but the developer anticipated a rejection from the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals, and eventually nixed plans to redevelop the site.

While the Children’s Museum’s design plans at its new location have yet to be finalized, the museum is hoping to preserve some elements of the existing church into the new space, the executive director for the museum, Andy Ackerman, told TRD. Neighbors will get to voice their opinions about the new space as the project goes through the city’s approvals process in the coming months.