West Park Presbyterian Church Designation Affirmed By Council
Minutes after the rally, preservationists went into City Hall Chambers to listen to the City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses vote to affirm the designation of West Park Presbyterian Church. The church received a positive vote from the Land Use Committee and the full City Council voted to affirm the designation, 47-2 (CM Ignizio and Koo dissenting).
As long-time readers know, West Park, called by the Landmarks Commission “one of the best examples of a Romanesque Revival style religious structure in New York City”, was designated over the objections of its owner, the New York Presbytery, in January 2010. Upper West Side Councilmember Gale Brewer worked for years with the small congregation and the neighboring community to try and find a solution which could preserve both the building (which is suffering from deferred maintenance and currently vacant) and its mission of social and religious programming. “I continue to believe that it is in the best and highest interest of the community and city, as the well as the Presbytery, to permanently protect West Park Presbyterian Church. Protecting this structure is about saving a spiritual and everyday human landmark, maintaining the continuity of a designated Landmark District, and protecting not only irreplaceable architecture but history, heritage, community, beauty, and quality of life,” Councilmember Gale Brewer said. “Most importantly, landmarking the building does not dispossess the congregation, nor does it deprive the church of its religious home or of its property.”
CM Brewer is a member of the Coalition to Save West Park, which will be honored with a Grassroots Preservation Award at the Preservation Party on May 20th.