25 September 2006

Egan the Destroyer

A helpful reader informs Lost City that Cardinal Egan and the Archdiocese of New York are not only trying to demolish St. Brigid in the East Village by Our Lady of Vilnius on Broome Street. The pastor of the church was informed on July 31.

Said house of worship is a Lithuanian church that was established in 1906. It's a one story, yellow-brick affair with red doors that sits near Varick and Hudson. There used to be a Lithuanian community there, but it was dispersed when housing was torn down in 1927 to build the Holland Tunnel. (Thanks, Robert Moses.) Egan has said worshipers could go to another Lithuanian congregation in Brooklyn, but that one, it turns out, is in Maspeth, which is well known to all New Yorkers as The Neighborhood That Mass Trasportation Forgot.

The problem is similar to that at Brigid—the church needs repairs and the Church won't pony up the dough. Four winters ago, shifting temperatures caused some of the four trusses supporting the church’s roof to crack. Engineers took a look and prescribed steel cables. Otherwise, the roof would collapse. No cables were proffered. Now services and functions are held in the basement, which ain't so grand.

It sounds like a tough, colorful place. It's first pastor, Father Shistokasa, was a longshoreman who worked the docks at night and ministered by day. The current one, Father Eugene Sawicki, smokes cigars. Egan says he hasn't sold the property, but who knows how long that will be the case. Trump's building an uglirific tower down the block.

The helpful reader has started a blog to help stop the madness. The address is www.ausrosvartunyc.blogspot.com.

No comments: