Workers were spotted carrying scaffolding into Mary Help of Christians Church last Friday, prompting concern among some neighbors as to whether there were any developments about the church’s future.
Around 3 p.m. late last week, “There was a huge Penske moving van and several workers in front of the church. The church doors were open,” an eyewitness told The Local. “I was concerned because we don’t know what’s going to happen with the church.” The church property was purchased by developer Douglas Steiner, who’s bringing a residential development to the lot between East 11th and 12th Streets.
“I saw the workers bringing in scaffolding into the church, and I thought, ‘Uh oh,’” said the eyewitness. “I asked one of the guys to please be careful with the remaining relics. I thought they were moving the rest of the stuff out. But he said, ‘We’re not taking anything out. We’re just putting up scaffolding in the church. It’s in rough shape. We’re putting up support for the church. It’s an old building.’” It was unclear whether there was work being done to the church’s interior, or whether it had anything to do with work being done at P.S. 60 next door.
Last month, The Local reported that preservationists would like to meet with Mr. Steiner to discuss the church’s future, and the possibility of preserving the church. Several neighborhood preservation groups, along with a neighbor and a former parishioner, have asked the Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider protecting the church. A source close to the project had said it was too early to know what the developer’s plans are for the site.