Judge halts demolition of Our Lady of Loreto
by Patrick Kearns
May 03, 2017 | 801 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Activists fighting to save the century-old Our Lady of Loreto church in Brownsville received welcome news last week when a judge granted a temporary stay of demolition.

Judge Bernard Graham halted a plan to demolish the church to make way for 24 units of affordable housing.

Jillian Mulvihill filed the lawsuit on the grounds that the Diocese of Brooklyn and Catholic Charities broke a contract with the State of New York that the diocese could remove the school and rectory for housing, but would not demolish the church.

Mulvihill wants to see the church converted into a community space.

Les Ford with NIA Theatrical Production Company believes a cultural space is more important than housing for Brownsville residents.

“Brownsville has more NYCHA buildings than any other area in New York City,” Ford said. “We think Brownsville has done its part when it comes to housing.”

Salvatore D’Agostino was baptized at Our Lady of Loreto.

“There’s a let of sentimental value here,” he said. “To the Italian American community, this is our pride. It means a lot to us.”

D’Agostino said when he was a kid, there was festival that went from the church all the way to Eastern Parkway.

“These are just a lot of memories that you can’t forget,” he said. “They are a part of the church.”

A spokesperson for Catholic Charities said they were surprised at the stop-work order and looks forward to a quick judicial resolution to the matter.

“[Catholic Charities] has complied with all rules, regulations and requests from all state, local officials, and the community board concerning this property,” the spokesperson added. “We look forward to continue working with the community to provide a much-needed asset of affordable housing and community space.”
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