A week after preservationists announced a possible deal to save the imperiled Saint Saviour’s church in Maspeth, Borough President Helen Marshall has secured $100,000 from her discretionary expense budget to help move it to a safe location.
“I think its outstanding …” said Paul Graziano, president of the Historic Districts Council. “Borough President Marshall’s generous offer of $100,000 will go a long way toward helping Saint Saviour’s, as long as they do it in the next 30 to 45 days.”
Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, which has led the preservation effort, estimated disassembly and moving costs at about $140,000.
Total costs to reassemble and retore the church on safe ground could run between $500,000 to $1 million, he said.
The wooden church, designed by architect Richard Upjohn and completed in 1847 faced what seemed like imminent destruction just last month. But an apparent agreement with Maspeth Development LLC, which owns the land, has given preservationists extra time to remove the church.
All Faiths Cemetery, in Middle Village, has agreed to accept the church on land set aside for it off 69th Street, near Metropolitan Avenue. Marshall’s allocation helps alleviate worries that sufficient money to move the church would not be found in time.
Most of the aesthetically detrimental additions to the church from over the years — like shingle siding and a false ceiling, —has been removed now to show what Holden said was 90 percent original wood.
“What you’re seeing now is really Upjohn’s church,” Holden said. “We haven’t seen that in probably close to 80 to 100 years.”
— Austin Considine