Register now !    Login  
Main Menu
Who's Online
29 user(s) are online (24 user(s) are browsing Message Forum)

Members: 0
Guests: 29

more...




Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users






Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#20
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/6/8 3:24
Last Login :
2022/11/28 0:04
From New Urbanist Area
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 1429
Offline
"The Conservancy did not come forward with any plans to preserve this building, or any funds or source of funds to rehabilitate this building."

The Trustees' attorney is wrong.

We have continually offered assistance. Most recently, we sent a letter to the Trustees setting forth a proposal to repair the most immediate damage, the side roof. We have also said that we have volunteers who can do the work.

Of course, it is the Trustees' property. Property that they forced the congregation to hand over. So it's not like they have sunk any costs into it. And they certainly have not spent substantial funds on maintenance. For years they've been neglecting it, hoping that it will deteriorate beyond repair.

As for available funds? The number of active Episcopal churches in Jersey City has dwindled from 13 to 3. As each of these assets are sold off, the money is supposed to go into a fund dedicated to Jersey City. According to the Diocecse Council's minutes, this amounted to slightly over $3 million last year. A portion of that can go toward stabilization.

Other sources of funding? If the building is placed on the State or National Registers, matching grants and other sources of funding are available.

The Historic Preservation Office has also suggested that the landmarking of the building be combined with a possible redevelopment plan with the adjacent parcels. That would allow a redeveloper more lucrative use of the property (now in R2 zoning), if they agreed to restore the landmark.

As for the ultimate use and preservation plan, that in part depends on whether the Diocese is willing to actually have a presence in Jersey City. There is a neighboring congregation, Incarnation Church on Storms Avenue, that has asked to move into St. John's. If the Diocese really thinks that there is no place for a congregation in this rapidly developing area, then other uses are possible.

We have been and continue to be willing to help. Any statements to the contrary by the Diocese are simply false.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2007/12/17 1:19
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#19
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/8/14 2:29
Last Login :
2010/9/17 12:03
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 92
Offline
THE JERSEY CITY REPORTER 12/16/2007 "Another Step Toward Preserving Church; Planning Board Votes To Recommend St. John's For Municipal Landmark" By Ricardo Kaulessar, Reporter Staff Writer Two Sides Presenting Their Case ? Joshua Parkhurst (left), president of the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy. Standing next to him is Deborah Perry (right), attorney for the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, which currently owns the church building. The Jersey City Planning Board at their Tuesday meeting voted 6-0 to recommend that the City Council approve municipal landmark designation for the 137-year old St. John's Episcopal Church, located on Summit Avenue near the old Jersey City Medical Center. The landmark status, if approved by the council, could prevent the building from being demolished by the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, which currently owns the building. The diocese claims that substantial damage was done to the church's infrastructure over the years, making it ripe for demolition. Earlier this year, a historic preservation group called the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy had filed an application with the Jersey City Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), hoping the structure could get the municipal landmark designation. But after months of delay in hearing the application, the HPC heard presentations at their Oct. 22 and Oct. 29 meetings from the Conservancy and the Episcopal Diocese, debating whether to preserve the church. The Planning Board on Tuesday heard nearly two hours of arguments from the same parties fighting over the preservation. 'The Millionaires' Church' The church was erected in 1870 at its current location of 120 Summit Ave. in the Bergen Hill area. It went on to achieve a distinction as the largest and wealthiest Episcopal parish in New Jersey, earning its nickname "The Millionaires' Church." But by the 1960s, the wealthy clientele who once frequented the church had moved away, replaced by working-class people. There was a resurgence when Jersey City native and cleric Rev. Robert Castle was head of St. John's Episcopal between 1960 and 1968. The church became a haven for the civil rights struggle in Jersey City. The Episcopal Diocese closed the church in 1994 after it had served the community for more than 100 years, complaining of a declining congregation and unavailable to maintain it. Fighting Over the Preservation The Landmarks Conservancy made a brief presentation on Tuesday night, first with a slideshow of photos of the church, in its ornate glory and its current squalor. After the slideshow, Landmarks Conservancy president Joshua Parkhurst addressed past comments by the Episcopal Diocese about the "structural integrity" and "historic integrity" of the church. He also scolded the church for allowing a New York-based architectural salvage company to strip the interior of artifacts and using that as a rationale for claiming the church lacks historic integrity. "That's really akin to murdering your parents and then throwing yourself on the mercy of the court as an orphan," Parkhurst said. The Episcopal Diocese's legal representative, Deborah Perry, in her presentation said the Diocese did not intentionally neglect the church but instead, after closing the church, tried to sell it but did not find any buyers. She also said the trustees of the Episcopal Diocese have made it clear to her that there are no funds "to maintain, rehab or restore the building" to stabilize the building, one reason to oppose landmark designation. Perry took the Landmarks Conservancy to task as well. "The Conservancy did not come forward with any plans to preserve this building, or any funds or source of funds to rehabilitate this building," Perry said. Planning Board Decides After comments from the public, most of whom favored preserving the church for religious or other re-use, the director of the city's Planning Division, Robert Cotter, confirmed the claim by Conservancy member Cynthia Hadjiyannis the church had already been designated eligible as a municipal historic landmark in the city's Master Plan since 2000. Cotter explained that the church is located in what was once known as the Bergen Hill Historic District, which existed until 1989. He said it is eligible for listing on the National Historic Register, thus allowing it being listed already a municipal historic landmark. Cotter also spoke for the Planning Division, saying they approved of recommendation to the City Council. Planning Board Commissioner and City Councilman Steve Lipski asked what would be the purpose of designating the church as a landmark if the Episcopal Diocese does not have the funds to restore the building. Cotter advised that if the building is not preserved somehow, it could be demolished and replaced by something that is incompatible with the area. Lipski voted in favor of the recommendation to landmark the church. The other commissioners also voted in the affirmative. Among them was Michael Sims, who said, "Wow, what a beautiful building. I really can't sit here and see it go down this way. It won't come back." When the vote was finished, Planning Board Chairman Michael Ryan and Lipski both advised the two sides to work together and come up with a plan to preserve the church. Working together? After the meeting, Perry would only respond on the Planning Board's decision that "The record speaks for itself." Meanwhile, Parkhurst was "very pleased" with the decision. He also said that the Conservancy is open to any future meeting with the Diocese. "I have sent [the Episcopal Diocese] a letter offering to help them with certain repairs, at least stabilization, and they have not responded." Parkhurst said. Comments on the story can be sent to: rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com Copyright 2007 The Hudson Reporter

Posted on: 2007/12/16 16:11
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#18
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2004/11/7 17:04
Last Login :
2015/2/24 18:16
From "Pay for Play"
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 1531
Offline
Resized Image

BREAKING PRESERVATION NEWS: Jersey City Planning Board Unanimously Recommends St. John's for Municipal Register!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

To Go Before City Council - Threat of Demolition Remains

The Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy and its allies achieved another remarkable victory when, last night, the Jersey City Planning Board unanimously recommended that St. John's be placed on the Municipal Register of Historic Places!

The Conservancy would like to thank the many people, both local and from out of town, who came to speak in support of the application. We would also like to acknowledge those who took action via our Citizen Speak campaign. Your support definitely made a difference!

The nomination will now be considered by the City Council. In the meantime, the Diocese is still actively seeking to demolish the building. We will be sending out a detailed St. John's update very soon with a new Citizen Speak letter addressed to the City Council, as well as direct phone and fax numbers.

Our campaign has, once again, found its way into the media in unprecedented ways. Last night New 12 New Jersey (Comcast in Hudson County) aired an excellent segment (see transcript below), and tomorrow The Jersey Journal will feature an update.

St. John's Episcopal Church, though abandoned, neglected and deteriorating, has captured the imagination of the public across the city and county (and now state!) and will hopefully continue to do so far into the future. The Bergen Hill neighborhood, and all of Jersey City, deserve this building, and the Conservancy and its friends and allies in preservation will continue to fight to keep it standing!

Resized Image

NEWS 12 NEW JERSEY, Tuesday, December 11, 2007 (Comcast):

"The fight over what to do with a decaying historic Jersey City church has preservationists and the Diocese of Newark butting heads. St. John's Episcopal Church is an architectural work of art and dates back to 1871. Its Gothic design, triple archway and finials make it unmistakable. Its beauty, however, is compromised by holes in the roof and other problems. According to the diocese, the property and building pose a danger and the church should be torn down. Preservationists are actively trying to get the church declared a historical landmark, which would prevent demolition. The diocese says it would cost $25 million to make St. John's usable again, but supporters of the building say it would take much less. They say the cost of tearing it down would be much greater. The Jersey City Planning Board is expected to vote Tuesday night on whether to recommend St. John's be given landmark status. Then it is up to the City Council."

Video: http://news12.cv.net/video/CN1211CT.wmv

THE JERSEY JOURNAL / HUDSON COUNTY NOW,

Wednesday, December 12, 2007:

"Planning Board Backs Historic Status for Jersey City Church"

By Charles Hack for The Jersey Journal

The Jersey City Planning Board voted unanimously last night to recommend historic designation for St. John's Episcopal Church on Summit Avenue, over the objections of the church's owner.

The board voted 6-0 in favor of recommending that the 137- year-old church by placed on the city's register of historic places, a move championed by the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, a local advocacy group.

Planning Board Commissioner Leon Yost recused himself because of his connection to the Landmarks Conservancy.

The owner, the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, opposes the designation and wants to demolish the church and sell the property, arguing that it can only get a good price for the land without the building on it.

Diocese officials have said the building is structurally unsound and it will get worse because they cannot afford to repair it.

The Conservancy says the Gothic-style structure is too important to Jersey City and the historically-rich Bergen Hill neighborhood to lose. Its members want to see it renovated as a church or developed while maintaining the structure.

Link: http://www.nj.com/hudsoncountynow/index.ssf/2007/12/planning _board_backs_historic.html



Please CLICK HERE to send an e-mail to the Diocese.


You should follow up this e-mail with a phone call to the office of the Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith at (973) 430-9976.

Learn more about JCLC's campaign to save St. John's Episcopal Church...

Copyright 2007 Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, Inc. Organized and founded in 1999.
jclandmarks@gmail.com

Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy | 285 Monmouth Street | Jersey City | NJ | 07302

Posted on: 2007/12/12 21:45
Resized Image
Help US Sue Spectra! Join OR Donate!
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#17
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2004/11/7 17:04
Last Login :
2015/2/24 18:16
From "Pay for Play"
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 1531
Offline
A message from our friends, Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Planning Board Meeting moved to December 11 at new location

Resized ImageThe Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy writes to inform you that the Planning Board's consideration of the Conservancy's nomination of St. John's Episcopal Church has been adjourned from November 20, 2007 to December 11, 2007. The Conservancy has learned that the Diocese has requested an adjournment without even giving the Conservancy the courtesy of notifying us of the request. We also have learned that the City, without consulting the Conservancy, has granted the adjournment. We apologize to the many people who have made room on their schedule on the 20th of November, but we had absolutely no say in the decision. This is yet another unfortunate example on both how the Diocese has delayed and manipulated the process and how the City has allowed such manipulation to occur.

The Planning Board will now consider the nomination on Tuesday, December 11th, 2007 at 5:30 p.m. in the 14th Floor Conference Room at 30 Montgomery Street (between Greene and Hudson streets, across the street from Flamingo Diner), Jersey City, New Jersey. Parking is available on Christopher Columbus Drive.

We encourage you to contact the Diocese to express disapproval of its continued opposition to the landmarking of St. John's as well as its obstructionist tactics. Please CLICK HERE to send an e-mail to the Diocese.


You should follow up this e-mail with a phone call to the office of the Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith at (973) 430-9976.

Learn more about JCLC's campaign to save St. John's Episcopal Church...

Posted on: 2007/12/11 3:21
Resized Image
Help US Sue Spectra! Join OR Donate!
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#16
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/8/14 2:29
Last Login :
2010/9/17 12:03
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 92
Offline
Meeting On Future of Episcopal Church Set For Tomorrow

By The Jersey Journal

Monday December 10, 2007, 2:16 PM

The Jersey City Planning Board expects to hold a hearing tomorrow night on whether St. John's Episcopal Church on Summit Avenue will be designated a historic landmark, as a group of local activists have been pushing for.

Representatives from the Episcopal Diocese of Newark - which wants to sell the property on which the 137-year-old Gothic church sits - are expected to attend.

The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. at 30 Montgomery St., 14th floor conference room.

Posted on: 2007/12/10 19:58
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#15
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/6/8 3:24
Last Login :
2022/11/28 0:04
From New Urbanist Area
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 1429
Offline
Great to hear from Reverend Castle. He really inspired everyone at the May 2006 JCLC Awards Ceremony!

Note that due to renovations at City Hall Tuesday's planning board meeting will meet in a new location, 30 Montgomery Street, 14th Floor at 5:30 pm (where the HPC regularly meets).

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2007/12/9 15:17
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#14
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/8/14 2:29
Last Login :
2010/9/17 12:03
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 92
Offline
And Sunday's New York Times features a great article by the talented Kevin Coyne concerning our fight to save this pivotal 19th century Jersey City landmark. Coyne's weekly front-page column, aptly titled "Jersey," is one of the best written and poignant parts of the Sunday paper. We hope this weekend's amazing media coverage of St. John's Episcopal Church will inspire all readers on this list to attend Tuesday's Planning board meeting (30 Montgomery Street, 14th floor conference room, 5:30 p.m.) or to visit our website to learn how you can send a strong message to the abandoned and neglected church's owners. -History Rules December 9, 2007 Jersey "Afterlife Hard for Once-Grand Church" By Kevin Coyne (Jersey City, NJ) - AFTER a long time away, the Rev. Robert Castle visited his old church last year ? St. John?s Episcopal, the hilltop Gothic with a panoramic view out over the world he did his best to change in the 1960s ? and the state of its decline left him thinking of another sublime fortress once also thought to be impregnable. ?It was like the Titanic going down, and it was sad to see,? said Father Castle, who was rector at St. John?s from 1960 to 1968. ?It?s been almost 40 years, and my heart still aches over that church.? Other hearts have also been aching over St. John?s, a grand but moldering granite church in the Bergen Hill neighborhood that is at the center of perhaps the only ecclesiastical preservation battle that features cameo appearances by the Black Panthers and a Hollywood filmmaker. New Jersey?s cities are filled with abandoned monuments to God, the churches and synagogues whose congregations have long since departed for more modern buildings girdled by parking lots in the suburbs. Some of the vacant shells left behind have been reincarnated with new denominations; some have been converted to housing or offices; some have been demolished. And some, like St. John?s, sit empty and await their fate, as each blast of winter, each soaking rain, brings them ever nearer to the afterlife. ?It?s like a fire hose when the rain comes, just a deluge,? said Dennis Doran, a neighbor and a former senior warden of the church, pointing up toward a drainpipe that was once attached to copper gutters that were long ago stolen and sold for scrap. The roof beneath it, over the front section of the south nave, collapsed last winter. St. John?s rose above pastoral farmland and the lavish estates of its patrons when it opened in 1871, and easily could have passed for a medieval church in a Constable landscape of the English countryside, until the city gradually climbed up and over the bluff to surround it with brownstones and apartment buildings. By the first decade of the 20th century, it was the largest Episcopal church in all of New Jersey, with the largest congregation, at 4,000 members. When a fire struck in 1914, a newspaper headline called it the ?Millionaire?s Church.? The church, on one and a quarter acres, was a citadel of wealth, propriety and stability in a city that was already absorbing waves of new immigrants. The stained-glass windows were from the Tiffany studios. The white marble pulpit and the altar, with a sculptured relief of the Last Supper, came from Italy. The rector, the Rev. Edward L. Stoddard, arrived in 1876, and stayed until his death in 1929. By the time Father Castle was assigned to St. John?s in 1960, it still had a paid choir, but its endowment and enrollment were both dwindling. ?The church was open at 10:45 for an 11 o?clock service and then locked up again at 12:15,? said Father Castle, 78, who grew up on the West Side, at St. Stephen?s, and now lives in Holland, Vt., near the Canadian border. He promptly went out into the black neighborhoods that St. John?s had previously ignored and brought hundreds of new members into the old church. He started a chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality, marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Mississippi, and walked the streets to calm tensions after riots threatened. He picketed for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, and was arrested when he dumped garbage on the steps of City Hall to draw attention to living conditions in the city?s poor neighborhoods. He even offered refuge at the church to the local chapter of the Black Panthers. ?I was associated with things that were very controversial, and that?s one of the reasons why I guess I ultimately decided I should leave,? said Father Castle, who later became rector of a similarly active church in Harlem, and whose cousin, the film director Jonathan Demme, made a 1992 documentary about him, ?Cousin Bobby.? ?There weren?t the kind of people in Jersey City that were going to come to a church that had its neck stuck so far out.? The Diocese of Newark closed St. John?s in 1994 but continued to rent space in the basement to other congregations until a few years ago, when the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, a nonprofit preservation group, started to worry about the future of the vacant church. In October, acting on an application filed by the conservancy and opposed by the diocese, the city?s Historic Preservation Commission voted 5-0 to recommend placing the church on the Municipal Register of Historic Places, which would restrict the diocese?s ability to demolish it. The planning board is scheduled to consider the application on Tuesday; the city council will hear it next. Diocesan officials ?just don?t want to deal with the building, and they don?t want to deal with Jersey City,? said John Gomez, a Jersey City native who is the founder and past president of the conservancy. The city has three Episcopal churches, down from a peak of 12 in the early 1900s. ?We?re letting them know that we don?t agree with that, and we?re going to fight for this building.? The diocese, citing ?safety concerns? and placing the cost of restoration at $25 million, believes the church should be demolished. ?We would have loved to have figured out a way to save this, but it wasn?t a fiscally responsible decision for us,? said R. Carter Echols, canon to Bishop Mark Beckwith. Whatever happens, Father Castle is ready for another visit to the church that he sometimes wakes up thinking about in the middle of the night. ?I?d come down and do a Communion service,? he said, ?just to let God know and the people know it was a good place with a lot of good people there.? E-mail: Jersey@nytimes.com Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company Read the article online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/nyr ... 73-Yv9ouefPHL+rpMhXuL0epw

Posted on: 2007/12/8 16:55
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#13
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/8/14 2:29
Last Login :
2010/9/17 12:03
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 92
Offline

Posted on: 2007/12/8 2:36
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#12
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/8/20 18:36
Last Login :
2010/7/1 23:52
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 36
Offline
This is good to hear.

Posted on: 2007/12/7 22:10
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#11
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/8/14 2:29
Last Login :
2010/9/17 12:03
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 92
Offline
Check out New Jersey Network (NJN) on PBS at 5:30 today and cable stations throughout the evening for a news broadcast on our battle to save Jersey City's abandoned and threatened St. John's Episcopal Church. The NY Times is also running a front page article in this Sunday's New Jersey section of the paper.

Posted on: 2007/12/7 22:06
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#10
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/8/14 2:29
Last Login :
2010/9/17 12:03
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 92
Offline
Here is the entire (and brief) St. John's article in the Tuesday, November 20th edition of The Jersey Journal:

"Landmarking Hearing for Historic Church is Put Off to Dec. 11"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

By Ken Thorbourne for The Jersey Journal

A decision by the Jersey City Planning Board on whether to recommend St. John's Episcopal Church on Summit Avenue for landmark status will have to wait.

To accommodate attorneys representing the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, the item has been removed from tonight's agenda and carried over to the Dec. 11 meeting, city officials said.

The group pushing for landmark status for the unused, 137-year-old Gothic structure isn't pleased with the last-minute cancellation.

"We sent out notices, e-mails. Now we have to ask everyone to postpone their plans because the Episcopal Diocese pulled another stunt," said, John Gomez, founder and former president of the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy.

Carter Echols, spokeswoman for the diocese, said the church wants to "resolve this as quickly as possible. But it's a holiday week and our attorney isn't available."

The Episcopal Diocese wants to sell the property and is convinced landmark status - which would save the exterior of the church - would reduce its value on the open market, sources said.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the church became a center for the civil rights movement in Jersey City, Gomez said.

Last month, the Historic Preservation Commission recommended the church for landmark status. The City Council makes the final decision, but won't act until the Planning Board makes a recommendation.

? 2007 The Jersey Journal

? 2007 NJ.com All Rights Reserved

Posted on: 2007/11/20 15:17
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#9
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/8/14 2:29
Last Login :
2010/9/17 12:03
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 92
Offline
"Vote On Historic Status for St. John's Church Postponed"

By The Jersey Journal

Monday November 19, 2007, 2:43 PM

The Jersey City Planning Board has postponed a vote on the historic designation of St. John's Episcopal Church in Jersey City.

Earlier this month, the church won the backing of the city's Historic Preservation Commission.

The planning board was scheduled to hear the matter tonight but will instead take it up Dec. 20.

Copyright 2007 The Jersey Journal

[See tomorrow's newspaper for an extended story about the postponement]

Posted on: 2007/11/19 21:13
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#8
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2004/11/7 17:04
Last Login :
2015/2/24 18:16
From "Pay for Play"
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 1531
Offline
Resized Image

Update - St. John's: Planning Board Meeting Postponed to December 11, 2007

Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy


The Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy writes to inform you that the Planning Board's consideration of the Conservancy's nomination of St. John's Episcopal Church has been adjourned from November 20, 2007 to December 11, 2007. The Conservancy has learned that the Diocese has requested an adjournment without even giving the Conservancy the courtesy of notifying us of the request. We also have learned that the City, without consulting the Conservancy, has granted the adjournment. We apologize to the many people who have made room on their schedule on the 20th of November, but we had absolutely no say in the decision. This is yet another unfortunate example on both how the Diocese has delayed and manipulated the process and how the City has allowed such manipulation to occur. The Planning Board will now consider the nomination on December 11, 2007 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.


We encourage you to contact the Diocese to express disapproval of its continued opposition to the landmarking of St. John's as well as its obstructionist tactics. Please CLICK HERE to send an e-mail to the Diocese. You should follow up this e-mail with a phone call to the office of the Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith at (973) 430-9976.

[b]If you get voice mail then call this person:

Call 973-430-9906 ask to speak to Milton Merts as Patty Leonard is out till Friday, Nov 29 :

Mr. Milton Merts, Administrative Assistant
31 Mulberry Street
Newark , NJ 07102
973-430-9916[/n]
mmerts@dioceseofnewark.org

Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy | Organized and founded in 1999 | Jersey City | NJ | 07302

Posted on: 2007/11/17 18:24
Resized Image
Help US Sue Spectra! Join OR Donate!
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#7
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/8/14 2:29
Last Login :
2010/9/17 12:03
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 92
Offline
CHURCH TAKES FIRST STEP TOWARD PRESERVATION

Commission Recommends St. John's Episcopal To Become Historic Landmark

By Ricardo Kaulessar for The Jersey City Reporter

Sunday, November 10, 2007

The Jersey City Historic Preservation Commission recommended by a 5-0 vote at its special meeting on Oct. 29 that St. John's Episcopal Church become a historic landmark.

The church is located at 120 Summit Ave., a few blocks from the old Jersey City Medical Center.

The commission's recommendation will then go to the Planning Board, where, at the next meeting on Nov. 20, they will vote whether or not to recommend landmark designation to the City Council. The council's vote will officially make the church a landmark.

Erected in 1870, St. John's enjoyed for many years the distinction of being the largest and wealthiest Episcopal parish in New Jersey. During the 1960s, the church became a haven for the civil rights struggle in Jersey City. Those factors helped the commission make its decision.

The question of whether or not to designate the church a landmark was initially posed by the attorney for the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, Deborah Perry at the commission's Oct. 22 meeting.

The Episcopal Diocese, which currently owns the building, through Perry and various experts, made the case at the previous meeting and at Monday's special meeting that the church has suffered a great deal of structural damage since its closing in 1994 to not warrant landmark status.

Earlier this year, a historic preservation group called the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy had filed an application with the Preservation Commission, hoping the structure could get municipal landmark designation. The distinction would protect the building from demolition, which the Conservancy feared would be eventually carried out by the Episcopal Diocese.

And the demolition question did not completely subside as Landmarks Conservancy founder John Gomez asked the commission before the end of the special meeting if the Episcopal Diocese planned to demolish the church building before the Planning Board was to consider the landmark application.

Perry answered that she would have to speak to her client about their plans. She offered no further comment when asked for a response to the commission's decision.

The Debate Continued

Monday's special meeting was a continuation of the Oct. 22 meeting, where the city's head preservation officer, Dan Wrieden, requested the commissioners visit the church site before making an informed decision. Four of the commissioners visited the church on Oct. 26.

The meeting started out as practically a carbon copy of the previous one. The first few minutes were spent looking at slides of the interior and exterior of the church. The slides were shown by Shawn Rothstein, a structural engineer retained by the Episcopal Diocese, who pointed out examples of structural deterioration. At the previous meeting, Ulana Zakalak, a historic preservation specialist retained by the Landmarks Conservancy, showed slides of the church from past and present to tout its historical significance and make a case for its preservation.

In turn, the conservancy's current president Joshua Parkhurst presented a letter from architect and engineer John Inglese, who was asked by Conservancy member Dennis Doran to investigate the conditions of the church. Inglese concluded the church was not in "imminent danger of collapse," and could be restored without much effort.

Zakalak also spoke briefly about her work as a consultant on the transformation of the old Jersey City Medical Center into the 1200-unit condo complex The Beacon, considered the largest historic restoration project in the United States. She pointed out the old Medical Center suffered far greater structural damage than St. John's Episcopal Church and yet is being restored by the developer.

Why Was St. John's Chosen?

Before they voted to recommend landmark designation for the church, the commission heard from the public. There were residents living near the church who spoke of the beauty of its structure and some, with their construction background, offered to help restore the church.

They were budding teen preservationists who wanted to see more historic buildings as new buildings are going up around them. It was an Episcopal priest from out-of-town who pointed out that the new development in Jersey City will bring in new residents looking for a church for worship.

But all those voices of support took a backseat to Dennis Doran.

Doran, a member of the Landmarks Conservancy is also a former parishioner of St. John's who has become an unofficial historian of the church.

Doran spent over 20 minutes outlining a detailed history of the church, from its inception until its closing, spending time describing the importance of the church.

"I've found that the history of St. John's is deeply entwined with the history of Bergen section of the city and many, many of the most notable people," said Doran, mentioning such people as financier Edward F.C. Young and architect John T. Rowland.

Doran mentioned St. John's longtime pastor Rev. Dr. Edward L. Stoddard, who built up St. John's in the early 1900s and "put it on the map" by establishing various initiatives for both the rich and poor of the city, and brought in the latest thinkers.

Doran also spoke of how the Episcopal Diocese six years ago ignored the theft of the church's gutters - which contributed to the damage of the church as water seeped into the interior.

And he spoke of its need at the present time.

"It's sorely missed in that area," Doran said. "I cannot tell you how many people ask me, 'When are we going to get back into church? When is the church going to be reopened? and When is this church going to be fixed?'" Doran said.

Comments on this story can be sent to rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com

Copyright 2007 The Hudson Reporter

Posted on: 2007/11/11 5:28
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#6
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/8/14 2:29
Last Login :
2010/9/17 12:03
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 92
Offline
The batle to save St. John's Episcopal Church is featured in today's (Monday, November 5, 2007) edition of The Jersey Journal: Copyright 2007 The Jersey Journal

Posted on: 2007/11/5 17:10
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#5
Newbie
Newbie


Hide User information
Joined:
2007/10/29 3:44
Last Login :
2007/12/28 18:45
Group:
Banned
Posts: 17
Offline
Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
123 Summit Avenue (adjacent to Fremont).



Is that anywhere near "Fairmount Avenue"?

Your excellent work with preservation is appreciated, Mr. Parkhurst, but it'd behoove you to learn the street names around landmarks you're attempting to preserve.

Posted on: 2007/10/30 17:49
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#4
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2004/11/8 21:08
Last Login :
2020/4/4 19:36
From McGinley Square / Lincoln Park
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 225
Offline
The agendas are posted to the city's website, but often only a day or so in advance. See here:

http://www.cityofjerseycity.com/agenda.aspx?id=1266

Posted on: 2007/10/30 17:44
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#3
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/6/8 3:24
Last Login :
2022/11/28 0:04
From New Urbanist Area
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 1429
Offline
123 Summit Avenue (adjacent to Fremont).

The various boards (Planning, HPC, Zoning) do send out agendas for upcoming meetings via e-mail. Call the department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce, (201) 547-5070, and ask how you can be added to the e-mail list.

Under the Open Public Meetings Act, they have to publish the agendas in local newspapers. I'm pretty sure the Jersey Journal carries these notices though I don't know how far in advance it does so.

Posted on: 2007/10/30 17:09
 Top 


Re: HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#2
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2006/11/15 19:54
Last Login :
2019/1/18 16:12
From Harsimus Cove
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 243
Offline
What is the location/address of this building?

(Also, how can I find out when Historic Preservation Commission meetings are taking place? I keep checking the meetings calendar on the city's new website and have tried calling the HPC but no dice.)

Posted on: 2007/10/30 14:16
 Top 


HPC Recommends Landmarking St. John's!
#1
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/6/8 3:24
Last Login :
2022/11/28 0:04
From New Urbanist Area
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 1429
Offline
We have some GREAT news to report from last night's Historic Preservation Commission meeting. The HPC has unanimously recommended that St. John's be placed on the Municipal Register of Historic Places. This is far from the final step in the process, as the application must now be considered by the Planning Board and the City Council. But it is a tremendous victory nonetheless.

One bit of troubling news. After the recommendation, the HPC chair asked the Diocese's attorney if the Diocese would commit to not taking any action to demolish the church while the landmark application was pending. The Diocese refused to make such a commitment.

If you have not contacted the Diocese yet, click below and demand that they work with the community to preserve St. John's.

http://citizenspeak.org/node/1158

More information on the campaign generally can be found below.

http://www.jclandmarks.org/campaign-stjohns.shtml


Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2007/10/30 12:28
 Top 








[Advanced Search]





Login
Username:

Password:

Remember me



Lost Password?

Register now!



LicenseInformation | AboutUs | PrivacyPolicy | Faq | Contact


JERSEY CITY LIST - News & Reviews - Jersey City, NJ - Copyright 2004 - 2017