Inside The Painstaking Restoration of St. Brigid’s Church

On the eve of All Saints Day, The Local is contemplating sister acts and Christian anarchists. While we’re at it, let’s check in on St. Brigid’s Church, which is due to reopen in February of next year, after a decade of tumult.

Brick by brick, St.Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church at Avenue B and East Seventh Street is slowly and steadily being restored to its former glory. First shuttered in 2001 due to a crack in the building, it has been the subject of controversy since 2004, when the parish was disbanded and the Archdiocese of New York announced plans to demolish what it said was a “hazard” that could have collapsed at any time. The demolition plans for the “Famine Church” (so called because it was built by the Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine in the 1840s) was met with a massive outcry from parishioners. After a series of protests and an anonymous $20 million donation, the church is now on track to reopen in time for next year’s Feast of St. Brigid. In this video, Edwin Torres, the Chairman of the Committee to Save St. Brigid’s Church, gives The Local a rare inside look at the restoration.