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Mapping 26 NYC Houses of Worship Being Replaced By Condos

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Just like parking lots, the city's bountiful religious buildings have become subject to the massive development thrust throughout the city. As the oft century-old holy structures continue to age, pricey upkeep is not always an option for these institutions, sighting floundering attendance, restrictions from landmark status, and all sorts of pretenses to justify their leap from faith and onto the market. Either relinquished air rights, additional structures, or the holiest main building, the sacrifice of religious structures in this nihilistic market are on the up and up. We've pinpointed 26 sites that are either in the midsts of conversion, at risk, or recently completed. Know one we missed? Leave it in the comments or send it to our tipline.
—With research assistance from Hannah Frishberg


· The beautiful, vacant, and broke cathedrals of NYC [NYP]
· Mapping Nine Conversions Currently Underway in Brooklyn [Curbed]
· Losing Our Religion archives [Curbed]

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1. French Evangelical Church

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128 W. 16th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 929-6312

In the beginning of 2014, the French Evangelical Church sold its soul air rights to Einhorn Development Group for an undisclosed sum, providing the church some much-needed funds to continue care of the 150-year-old building. Now, Einhorn plans to erect 14 condos over 11 stories that will surround the historic building. Neighborhood residents argue the addition is both visually unappealing and out-of-context for the low-scaled Chelsea neighborhood.

2. Church of the Redeemer

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24 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Neighbor to the Barclay's Center and situated in a rapidly transforming 'hood, Boerum Hill's Church of the Redeemer has sat congregation-less for years. In 2012, demolition permits were filed for the 127-year-old building. Last we heard of the site, Halstead was marketing the property as a $17 million tear-down, ideally to be snatched up and developed as an 8 to 10 story condo with ground-floor retail.

3. St. Vincent de Paul

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123 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011

In the 145 years since its 1869 construction, Chelsea's St. Vincent de Paul has lost its faith and its face. The Landmarks Preservation Commission practically signed the church's demolition permits when they deemed a 1939 facade installed atop the building's original "insignificant." The building has sat vacant and uncared for since January 2013.

4. Our Lady of Vilnius Church

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570 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013

Once a haven for Filipino and Portuguese immigrants, Our Lady of Vilnius—yes, that church next to the Holland Tunnel entrance—was locked up by the Archdiocese in 2007 following a shrinking congregation and caving roof. Come 2014, Extell purchased the Catholic parish for $13 million. They are now trying to flip the property for a rough $20 million.

5. Church of the Holy Innocents

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Once popular among actors and Broadway-goers for its convenient Midtown location, today the Church of the Holy Innocents is on its last legs. Built in 1866, the archdiocese may close the parish soon, despite it being one of the oldest (but, alas, un-landmarked) buildings in the Garment District.

6. Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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337 East 62nd Street
New York, NY 10065

Where once there was Catholicism, there will soon be condos. Bought by Peter Poon for $7 million in 2012, the building is slated to be turned into a seven-story apartment building with 22 units.

7. St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church

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626 Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11206

Ah, Brooklyn, the Borough of Churches Condos. St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church is slated to soon join the slew of other converted religious institutions. Cayuga Capital has 99 rentals planned for the space, with a triplex in the steeple and terraces on the top floors.

8. Romanian Church of God of Ridgewood

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198 Saint Nicholas Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237

After a year on the market, Williamsburg developer Noam Amos snatched up the The Romanian Church of God of Ridgewood's property for $1.6 million, about $200,000 over ask. The recent sale included an adjacent church residence. No word yet on Amos's plans, but we can just imagine what he might have up his sleeve.

9. Fort Tryon Jewish Center

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534 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10033

As many do to stay afloat amidst financial struggles, the Fort Tryon Jewish Center made a 2005 deal with developer Ruddy Thompson for the holy center's air rights and half of its lobby. Thompson promised to rehab the center and build a 23-story, 144-unit tower called One Bennett Park on the adjacent lot. Construction started and ended in 2008, thanks to the housing bubble which burst just after Thompson gutted the synagogue and excavated the adjacent lot. With a cut-off loan, Thompson has been unable to finish the gutted building which is now fighting foreclosure.

10. The Spire Lofts

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163 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Once known as Williamsburg's St. Vincent De Paul Church, the 145 year old structure was unleashed onto the market this week as 40 rental apartments developed by Heritage Equity Partners. A spattering of new listings for the building offer a $4,250 1.5 bedroom apartment and a $5,500 2BR apartments.

11. St. Ignatius Catholic Church

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267 Rogers Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225

A Crown Heights church is being converted into a five-story, 165-unit apartment building. In place of religious comfort, the new rentals will include 83 parking spaces and a grass perimeter around the set-back building. The church's community hall will also be demolished to make way for the Think Architecture-designed building.

12. St. Cecilia's Catholic Church School Buildings

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21 Monitor Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Two school buildings once operated and still owned by St. Cecilia's Catholic Church in Greenpoint—now the subject of a 49-year lease—are in the midsts of a Nataliya Donskoy conversion into apartments. The buildings at 17 and 21 Monitor Street will house 69 and 15 apartments.

13. Beth Hamedrash Hagadol

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This 1850 Gothic Revival-style building came under ownership of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol in 1885, and was granted landmark status in 1967. Now, the 164 year old building is in a sorry state of disrepair, with the congregation's leader unsure of whether to move forward with or without the building. To date, flip-flopper Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum has considered 1) selling the valuable Lower East Side land off to a developer, 2) demolishing the building while still under ownership of the synagogue and replacing it with a residential structure, and 3) preserving—or at least not demolishing—the dilapidated building. Where the Rabbi stands now is unclear, but it seems the building needs a miracle (and a persistent LPC) if it is to remain standing for much longer.

14. New Baptist Temple

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360 Schermerhorn St
Brooklyn, NY 11217

The oldest Baptist church in Brooklyn is looking for a development partner following a 2011 fire that badly damaged the 1893 building. Although the church is on the National Register of Historic Places, that doesn't preclude it from being demolished, added to, or otherwise altered. Developers be warned: the church plans to maintain occupancy on the lower levels of any new development or addition.

15. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

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1255 Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11207

Developer Boaz Gilad snatched up the former Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and with the help of architects Isaac & Stern, plans to bring a new seven story, 32 unit residential building to the site.

16. Church of the Open Door Dr. White Community Center

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200 Nassau Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

The two story community center is en route to its second life as an 84-apartment building designed by Nataliya Donskoy. ND Architecture is converting and enlarging the two-story community center into a four-story residential building with outdoor parking.

17. Kings Temple Seventh-Day Adventist Church

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991 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11213

Sure, conversion is admirable, but Isaac & Stern should repent for their design of this Romanesque Revival Church in Crown Heights. Permits to expand the structure to seven stories are currently pending approval from the Department of Buildings. The new building would have 17 units, including a duplex penthouse. Boaz Gilad is behind this reincarnation.

18. Mary Help of Christians

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440 E 12th St
New York, NY 10009

This East Village church and its school and rectory have been leveled by developer Douglas Steiner to make room for a seven-story, 158-unit building with frontage on East 11th and East 12th streets and Avenue A. The hodgepodge design includes 22 affordable rentals and a rooftop swimming pool.

19. 541 Leonard Street

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541 Leonard Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

In October 2013, this former church premiered as a three-apartment building, with each unit hosting three bedrooms, three bathrooms, 20-foot ceilings, and outdoor space. The three units, which are all off the market, were selling between $2.3 million and $2.5 million.

20. St. Patrick's Old Cathedral Orphanage

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32 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012

One of five historic buildings in SoHo's St. Patrick's Old Cathedral compound, this former orphan asylum, built in 1826, became an individual city landmark in 1966. That neither dissuaded the church from selling to raise money for upkeep, or high-end condo developer Hamlin Ventures from buying. Hamlin is planning two single-family townhouses and eight condos designed by Marvel Architects at the tweaked site, and are still trying to win the approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

21. Tifereth Israel Synagogue

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334 E 14th St
New York, NY 10003

Giving up on prayer and entering the atheistic and remunerative market that is real estate, Tifereth Israel of 14th Street is on the market. Massey Knakal is listing the 1860's structure for $13.95 million. Although the lot can legally accommodate an additional 14,000-square-feet to its existing 11,000-square-feet, brokers are marketing the site as a residential or commercial conversion. Oy!

22. Park Avenue Christian Church

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1010 Park Ave
New York, NY 10028

Extell snagged this congregation's rectory and parish house in 2013 with plans to convert it into a 16-floor, 17-unit building that shamelessly cantilevers over and wraps around the 1911 church. Perhaps kicked into momentum by the horrible spawn building Extell pitched to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the LPC shortly thereafter approved the new Park Avenue Historic District, granting clemency to the doomed church. In a surprise twist, the Extell-owned portions of the church were deemed "no style" by the LPC, paving the way for Extell to demolish the rectory and erect whatever structure architects Beyer Blinder Belle dream up for the megadeveloper.

23. Anshei Meseritz

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415 East 6th Street
New York, NY 10009

Founded in 1892, the financially-floundering Anshei Meseritz inked a $1.2 million 99-year lease with East River Partners in 2013, allowing the developers to add an additional two floors and convert the landmarked building into condos. While not much appears to be happening at the site, signage out front says the condos will arrive by winter 2015. The synagogue will reportedly retain ground-floor space in the building for their use.

24. Trinity Church

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74 Trinity Place
New York, NY 10006

Last summer Trinity Church, the owner of $2 billion worth of downtown real estate, solicited designs in the pursuit of building new ministry offices and a residential tower. They selected firm Pelli Clarke Pelli to design a 25-story, super glassy condo building atop its new offices, with only the need for a developer standing in the way of construction. They hope for a tower by 2017.

25. Our Lady of Loreto

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124 Sackman Street
Brooklyn, NY 11233

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development finished an affordable housing complex on the site of the former Our Lady of Loreto Church in Brownsville in late 2013. The eight four-story buildings house 64 units with rents that range from $597 to $860 a month. RKTB Architects designed the building that assumed the site of the former 100-year-old church that closed its doors due to low attendance.

26. Church of St. Michael and St. Edward

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108 Saint Edwards Street
Brooklyn, NY 11205

This church was closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn in 2010 when it was already in a state of disrepair. Today, the crumbling structure sits without a congregation and without a future, as far as we know.

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1. French Evangelical Church

128 W. 16th St, New York, NY 10011

In the beginning of 2014, the French Evangelical Church sold its soul air rights to Einhorn Development Group for an undisclosed sum, providing the church some much-needed funds to continue care of the 150-year-old building. Now, Einhorn plans to erect 14 condos over 11 stories that will surround the historic building. Neighborhood residents argue the addition is both visually unappealing and out-of-context for the low-scaled Chelsea neighborhood.

128 W. 16th St
New York, NY 10011

2. Church of the Redeemer

24 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Neighbor to the Barclay's Center and situated in a rapidly transforming 'hood, Boerum Hill's Church of the Redeemer has sat congregation-less for years. In 2012, demolition permits were filed for the 127-year-old building. Last we heard of the site, Halstead was marketing the property as a $17 million tear-down, ideally to be snatched up and developed as an 8 to 10 story condo with ground-floor retail.

24 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

3. St. Vincent de Paul

123 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011

In the 145 years since its 1869 construction, Chelsea's St. Vincent de Paul has lost its faith and its face. The Landmarks Preservation Commission practically signed the church's demolition permits when they deemed a 1939 facade installed atop the building's original "insignificant." The building has sat vacant and uncared for since January 2013.

123 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011

4. Our Lady of Vilnius Church

570 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013

Once a haven for Filipino and Portuguese immigrants, Our Lady of Vilnius—yes, that church next to the Holland Tunnel entrance—was locked up by the Archdiocese in 2007 following a shrinking congregation and caving roof. Come 2014, Extell purchased the Catholic parish for $13 million. They are now trying to flip the property for a rough $20 million.

570 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013

5. Church of the Holy Innocents

128 W. 37th St., Garment District

Once popular among actors and Broadway-goers for its convenient Midtown location, today the Church of the Holy Innocents is on its last legs. Built in 1866, the archdiocese may close the parish soon, despite it being one of the oldest (but, alas, un-landmarked) buildings in the Garment District.

6. Our Lady of Perpetual Help

337 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065

Where once there was Catholicism, there will soon be condos. Bought by Peter Poon for $7 million in 2012, the building is slated to be turned into a seven-story apartment building with 22 units.

337 East 62nd Street
New York, NY 10065

7. St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church

626 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206

Ah, Brooklyn, the Borough of Churches Condos. St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church is slated to soon join the slew of other converted religious institutions. Cayuga Capital has 99 rentals planned for the space, with a triplex in the steeple and terraces on the top floors.

626 Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11206

8. Romanian Church of God of Ridgewood

198 Saint Nicholas Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237

After a year on the market, Williamsburg developer Noam Amos snatched up the The Romanian Church of God of Ridgewood's property for $1.6 million, about $200,000 over ask. The recent sale included an adjacent church residence. No word yet on Amos's plans, but we can just imagine what he might have up his sleeve.

198 Saint Nicholas Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237

9. Fort Tryon Jewish Center

534 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10033

As many do to stay afloat amidst financial struggles, the Fort Tryon Jewish Center made a 2005 deal with developer Ruddy Thompson for the holy center's air rights and half of its lobby. Thompson promised to rehab the center and build a 23-story, 144-unit tower called One Bennett Park on the adjacent lot. Construction started and ended in 2008, thanks to the housing bubble which burst just after Thompson gutted the synagogue and excavated the adjacent lot. With a cut-off loan, Thompson has been unable to finish the gutted building which is now fighting foreclosure.

534 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10033

10. The Spire Lofts

163 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Once known as Williamsburg's St. Vincent De Paul Church, the 145 year old structure was unleashed onto the market this week as 40 rental apartments developed by Heritage Equity Partners. A spattering of new listings for the building offer a $4,250 1.5 bedroom apartment and a $5,500 2BR apartments.

163 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

11. St. Ignatius Catholic Church

267 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225

A Crown Heights church is being converted into a five-story, 165-unit apartment building. In place of religious comfort, the new rentals will include 83 parking spaces and a grass perimeter around the set-back building. The church's community hall will also be demolished to make way for the Think Architecture-designed building.

267 Rogers Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225

12. St. Cecilia's Catholic Church School Buildings

21 Monitor Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Two school buildings once operated and still owned by St. Cecilia's Catholic Church in Greenpoint—now the subject of a 49-year lease—are in the midsts of a Nataliya Donskoy conversion into apartments. The buildings at 17 and 21 Monitor Street will house 69 and 15 apartments.

21 Monitor Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

13. Beth Hamedrash Hagadol

New York, NY 10002

This 1850 Gothic Revival-style building came under ownership of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol in 1885, and was granted landmark status in 1967. Now, the 164 year old building is in a sorry state of disrepair, with the congregation's leader unsure of whether to move forward with or without the building. To date, flip-flopper Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum has considered 1) selling the valuable Lower East Side land off to a developer, 2) demolishing the building while still under ownership of the synagogue and replacing it with a residential structure, and 3) preserving—or at least not demolishing—the dilapidated building. Where the Rabbi stands now is unclear, but it seems the building needs a miracle (and a persistent LPC) if it is to remain standing for much longer.

14. New Baptist Temple

360 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

The oldest Baptist church in Brooklyn is looking for a development partner following a 2011 fire that badly damaged the 1893 building. Although the church is on the National Register of Historic Places, that doesn't preclude it from being demolished, added to, or otherwise altered. Developers be warned: the church plans to maintain occupancy on the lower levels of any new development or addition.

360 Schermerhorn St
Brooklyn, NY 11217

15. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

1255 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207

Developer Boaz Gilad snatched up the former Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and with the help of architects Isaac & Stern, plans to bring a new seven story, 32 unit residential building to the site.

1255 Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11207

16. Church of the Open Door Dr. White Community Center

200 Nassau Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

The two story community center is en route to its second life as an 84-apartment building designed by Nataliya Donskoy. ND Architecture is converting and enlarging the two-story community center into a four-story residential building with outdoor parking.

200 Nassau Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

17. Kings Temple Seventh-Day Adventist Church

991 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213

Sure, conversion is admirable, but Isaac & Stern should repent for their design of this Romanesque Revival Church in Crown Heights. Permits to expand the structure to seven stories are currently pending approval from the Department of Buildings. The new building would have 17 units, including a duplex penthouse. Boaz Gilad is behind this reincarnation.

991 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11213

18. Mary Help of Christians

440 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

This East Village church and its school and rectory have been leveled by developer Douglas Steiner to make room for a seven-story, 158-unit building with frontage on East 11th and East 12th streets and Avenue A. The hodgepodge design includes 22 affordable rentals and a rooftop swimming pool.

440 E 12th St
New York, NY 10009

19. 541 Leonard Street

541 Leonard Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222

In October 2013, this former church premiered as a three-apartment building, with each unit hosting three bedrooms, three bathrooms, 20-foot ceilings, and outdoor space. The three units, which are all off the market, were selling between $2.3 million and $2.5 million.

541 Leonard Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

20. St. Patrick's Old Cathedral Orphanage

32 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012

One of five historic buildings in SoHo's St. Patrick's Old Cathedral compound, this former orphan asylum, built in 1826, became an individual city landmark in 1966. That neither dissuaded the church from selling to raise money for upkeep, or high-end condo developer Hamlin Ventures from buying. Hamlin is planning two single-family townhouses and eight condos designed by Marvel Architects at the tweaked site, and are still trying to win the approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

32 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012

21. Tifereth Israel Synagogue

334 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

Giving up on prayer and entering the atheistic and remunerative market that is real estate, Tifereth Israel of 14th Street is on the market. Massey Knakal is listing the 1860's structure for $13.95 million. Although the lot can legally accommodate an additional 14,000-square-feet to its existing 11,000-square-feet, brokers are marketing the site as a residential or commercial conversion. Oy!

334 E 14th St
New York, NY 10003

22. Park Avenue Christian Church

1010 Park Ave, New York, NY 10028

Extell snagged this congregation's rectory and parish house in 2013 with plans to convert it into a 16-floor, 17-unit building that shamelessly cantilevers over and wraps around the 1911 church. Perhaps kicked into momentum by the horrible spawn building Extell pitched to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the LPC shortly thereafter approved the new Park Avenue Historic District, granting clemency to the doomed church. In a surprise twist, the Extell-owned portions of the church were deemed "no style" by the LPC, paving the way for Extell to demolish the rectory and erect whatever structure architects Beyer Blinder Belle dream up for the megadeveloper.

1010 Park Ave
New York, NY 10028

23. Anshei Meseritz

415 East 6th Street, New York, NY 10009

Founded in 1892, the financially-floundering Anshei Meseritz inked a $1.2 million 99-year lease with East River Partners in 2013, allowing the developers to add an additional two floors and convert the landmarked building into condos. While not much appears to be happening at the site, signage out front says the condos will arrive by winter 2015. The synagogue will reportedly retain ground-floor space in the building for their use.

415 East 6th Street
New York, NY 10009

24. Trinity Church

74 Trinity Place, New York, NY 10006

Last summer Trinity Church, the owner of $2 billion worth of downtown real estate, solicited designs in the pursuit of building new ministry offices and a residential tower. They selected firm Pelli Clarke Pelli to design a 25-story, super glassy condo building atop its new offices, with only the need for a developer standing in the way of construction. They hope for a tower by 2017.

74 Trinity Place
New York, NY 10006

25. Our Lady of Loreto

124 Sackman Street, Brooklyn, NY 11233

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development finished an affordable housing complex on the site of the former Our Lady of Loreto Church in Brownsville in late 2013. The eight four-story buildings house 64 units with rents that range from $597 to $860 a month. RKTB Architects designed the building that assumed the site of the former 100-year-old church that closed its doors due to low attendance.

124 Sackman Street
Brooklyn, NY 11233

26. Church of St. Michael and St. Edward

108 Saint Edwards Street, Brooklyn, NY 11205

This church was closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn in 2010 when it was already in a state of disrepair. Today, the crumbling structure sits without a congregation and without a future, as far as we know.

108 Saint Edwards Street
Brooklyn, NY 11205