St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church is currently under threat due to the proposed Empire Station Complex.
*Built in 1872 (with the spire completed later in 1890) and designed by the famed American architect Napoleon LeBrun, one of the early skyscraper architects in New York City. He designed the south tower of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building at Madison Square, the Home Life Building on Broadway, the first Masonic Temple in Manhattan, and a fabulous former fire station on Lafayette Street.
The Gothic-style church is of sandstone, with arched windows and doorways, along with stained glass windows including a rose window. On the 30th Street side, an original rectory was replaced by a more modern building which formerly housed the Capuchin Monastery of the Church of St. John. According to the Environmental Impact Study report, ” The church meets Criterion C as an example of Gothic-inspired ecclesiastical architecture. In an Environmental Review letter dated December 14, 2020, LPC determined that the church also appears to be eligible for NYCL designation.” It sits on the same block as the Penn Station Service Building and is listed as having “Significant Adverse Impact from Development on Site 2,” stated as a building that “would be removed for the proposed below-grade expansion of Penn Station.”
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“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society
"HDC has begun a series of projects to highlight the Bronx's architectural and cultural history. From booklet's and research highlighting specific sites and historic districts to the HDC's symposium in October 2018 to the latest community-based committee to look into further possible sites to qualify for landmarking, the HDC has established projects that will serve the Bronx community well."
City Lore, Folklorist
Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director
"Welcome2TheBronx is grateful for the advocacy done by the Historic Districts Council on behalf of the people of The Bronx. Through their deep connections and understanding of the importance of preserving our local histories, The Bronx has been able to have several spotlights shown on endangered communities as gentrification creeps into the borough."
Ed García Conde,
founder and Executive Director,