02 April 2008

Savior of St. Savior's

By some ridiculous miracle, St. Saviour Church of Maspeth, Queens, is going to be saved.

I confess that I long ago consigned this 161-year-old, unlandmarked Richard Upjohn country church to the dustbin of history. Months and months of outcry from citizens and the media seemed to do little to inspire local politicians or City Hall or the Landmarks Commission to lift a finger to stop the forces of development that wanted to steamroll this structure into the dusty ground.

According to the The Daily News, preservationists somehow came to an understanding with Tomer Dafna of Maspeth Development LLC, which owns the property bounded by 58th St., 57th Road, Rust St. and 57th Drive, where the church has long sat. The church and its tower will be either hauled a few blocks down Rust Street to a site owned by Phil Galasso, president of the Maspeth Industrial Development Corp., or taken apart and reassembled on the same site. It will stay there until it reaches its final destination to be at All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village.

The preservationists efforts were not enough to save the trees (many between 60 and 100 years old), a parsonage and a meeting hall which were recently leveled.

Copious praise should go to the blog Queens Crap, which never stop hounding the people who would have demolished the church, and whose coverage of the story was unflagging.

It's a good outcome, but also depressing one, since it took years and untold sweat and toil and hollering to get a thing done, the rightness of which should have been recognized immediately.

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