Designation hearing held on St.Michael’s Church

200-year-old church receives wide support, though pastor ambivalent. On March 18, 2008, Landmarks heard testimony on the possible designation of St. Michael’s Church, Parish House, and Rectory located on West 99th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. The church and rectory were designed by Robert W. Gibson, an architect known for his work on the West End Collegiate Church on West 77th Street. The parish house was built in a similar Romanesque Revival-style. The complex’s most striking feature is a square clock tower with two tiers of open arcades at the top. Also notable are its three stained glass Tiffany windows, which remain remarkably intact.

Reverend George W. Brandt, Jr. testified that St. Michael’s intends to build a mixed-use condominium complex on the West 100th Street corner of its property. Brandt stated that the church spent five million dollars over the last ten years to restore the church and its grounds, and that the complex was necessary to fund the church’s upkeep and programs.

The Historic Districts Council’s Ed Kirkland called the church at St. Michael’s one of Gibson’s best works, while Hilda Regier of the Victorian Society in America called it “one of the City’s finest Victorian churches.” The Landmarks Conservancy supported designation as well and also stated that it did not oppose the proposed mixed-use complex, which would generate income for St. Michael’s.

Landmarks closed the hearing without setting a date for a vote on designation.

LPC: St. Michael’s Church, Parish House, and Rectory, 201-225 West 99th St., Manhattan (LP-2281) (Mar. 18, 2008).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.