HDC's Best of 2008: St. Saviour’s Saved!
Not all buildings can be saved by traditional means. In a recent case, one community went above and beyond to save an historic church at the eleventh hour. The church was St. Saviour’s, a rare 1847 Carpenter Gothic style building designed by Richard Upjohn in Maspeth, Queens. The local community organization, Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) and many dedicated individuals, fought against all odds despite unresponsiveness and even opposition from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation and the former local council member to save this structure.
Even with all of JPCA’s efforts, the case looked bad. In April 2008 the developer began demolition of the church. Still JPCA continued to rally. They managed to get the developer to agree to a demolition standstill while they raised interest and funding to dismantle and move the building. Working with the New York Landmarks Conservancy, the church was stabilized, catalogued and put into storage until an appropriate new home can be found. Read more about the case here.
In May 2008 HDC awarded the Juniper Park Civic Association a Grassroots Preservation Award for their efforts. The process to relocate and restore the church is still ongoing but now seems far more secure.