Our Sacred Sites staff has been busy recently helping several landmark Brooklyn churches address Department of Buildings (DOB) violations. Trinity Baptist Church in the Crown Heights North Historic District (pictured above with Trustees meeting architect Angel Ayon) will complete its Conservancy-funded project this month, repointing areas of the brick facade and tower, after missing mortar triggered a violation.
The 1853 South Bushwick Reformed Church, is a rare wooden structure with an elaborate steeple. Periodically lashed by hurricane and tornado winds, the spire has tilted to the north, incurring multiple DOB fines. We worked with engineers Donald Friedman and Shaquana Lovell of Old Structures, the congregation, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to design and fund spire stabilization. We helped the congregation secure a $25,000 grant from the National Fund for Sacred Places to augment an LPC grant. We also provided additional Conservancy grant funding to ensure that stabilization can begin immediately.
Guided by Timothy Lynch, Chief Engineer for DOB’s Forensic Engineering Unit, we filed the paperwork needed to stop recurring violations as construction begins. This helped us advise Flatbush Reformed Church on correcting similar spire violations. That will permit the 1793 church to launch a comprehensive, $2.1 million restoration.