Recent Church Designation Modified to Exclude Convent Building

Church of St. Paul the Apostle, 8 Columbus Avenue, Manhattan. Image Credit: CityLand.

Church of St. Paul the Apostle, 8 Columbus Avenue, Manhattan. Image Credit: LPC.

No opposition to Pastor’s request to alter the footprint of the newly landmarked Catholic Church. On July 23, 2013, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to modify the recently landmarked Church of St. Paul the Apostle site to exclude a convent, at 120 West 60th Street, from the designation at the request of the church leadership. The five-story convent building was built in 1949, and according to the designation report, “does not contribute to the architectural or historical character of the church.” (Read CityLand’s past coverage here.)

The site modification required a hearing, which did not garner any opposition to modification. Manhattan Community Board 7 representative Mark Diller testified that modifying the designation “does no violence” to the landmark, while the Historic Districts Council’s Nadezhda Williams noted that the church had already sold its air rights, and that “landmarking the convent would not contribute towards the preservation of the church.”

Chair Robert B. Tierney read into the record a letter from Father Gilbert Martinez, Pastor of St. Paul the Apostle, which requested that Landmarks limit the designation to the footprint of the church, and said he looked forward to working together with Landmarks in the future.

Chair Tierney said the preservation of the convent was not the intention of the designation, but was included because it shared the tax lot the church was on. He characterized the amendment as “a minor adjustment,” and said Landmarks would “continue in partnership with the archdiocese.”

Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the revision of the designation.

LPC: Church of St. Paul the Apostle, 8 Columbus Avenue, Manhattan (LP-2260) (July 23, 2013).

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