Residents fight to save vacant Brownsville church

Our Lady of Loreto Church in Brownsville has been vacant for years, but some neighborhood residents are fighting to keep it from being torn down.



Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, which leases the property, says there are plans to demolish the church and turn it into affordable housing. However, the Brownsville Cultural Coalition says the church should be landmarked and turned into a cultural center for the arts, music and theater community. The Italian American Civil Rights League and the Brownsville Heritage House are part of the coalition.



Catholic Charities says it would cost $9 million to repair the church.



"We have found that there is no viable use for the church structure due to its present condition," Catholic Charities says. It adds that it will use "the site that was once home to immigrants and their families as a site to provide housing to families in need."



A spokesperson for the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission says, "The agency has reviewed this church recently and determined that due to a lack of stakeholder support, the property is not being considered at this time."



Still, those fighting to preserve Our Lady of Loreto say they will continue their fight.


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