Temporary Hold Lifted on Demolition of Italian Church

Brownsville Cultural Coalition members Miriam Robertson (left) and Jillian Mulvihill join the protest. (Photo by Lore Croghan via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Back in April, Justice Bernard G. Graham issued a temporary stop to the demolition of Our Lady of Loreto in Brownsville, to the relief of members of the Italian community and preservationists. The ban was short-lived as Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s Lore Croghan reported June 6 that Justice Ellen Spodek “has denied plaintiff and former parishioner Jillian Mulvihill’s motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the demolition of the vacant historic church by Catholic officials.”

Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corp. seeks to replace the century-old church, located at 126 Sackman St., with low-income housing. The Brownsville Cultural Coalition, on the other hand, wants the church to be declared a landmark and turned into a cultural center. Mulvihill is a member of the group. On June 7, the coalition and other supporters held a protest at the Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens office in Brooklyn Heights.

Our Lady of Loreto Church (Photo by Lore Croghan via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

“We do not need more housing,” Miriam Robertson, executive director of Brownsville Heritage House and a Brownsville Cultural Coalition member, told the Brooklyn Eagle at the demonstration.

“Don’t take away the history of our neighborhood,” Robertson said. “Brownsville is a neighborhood built by immigrants.”

Built in 1908 by Italian immigrants, Our Lady of Loreto served as a sanctuary for the community which faced discrimination by other groups at Catholic churches.

Go to Brooklyn Daily Eagle for more on the judge’s decision and the Brownsville Cultural Coalition’s protest.

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