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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

St. Teresa Church in Brooklyn with Dangerous Storm Damage

That didn't take long.

I was headed on bike to the bar to administer my cabin fever and I half considered doing some "Storm Surveying" post Hurricane Sandy.

After two blocks I saw the metal facade had been torn from St. Teresa of Avila Church on Classon Av and Sterling Place in Crown Heights, Brooklyn (I know some folks insist it's Prospect Heights now but despite what googlemaps says, Washington Avenue is the boarder and where I stop tolerating real estate delusions).

I know the church well having attended it as a kid. It's part of the Catholic Diocese and it's towers were built in 1905. I've seen it take hits from storms, usually blizzards back in the day, but this is the most extensive damage I've seen the church endure in 30 years.

The street below is taped off but otherwise there isnt much way to know that the facade is dangling dangerously overhead so be careful if you're in the area.

Update 10/31/12 Councilmember Letitia (Tish) James has exressed that she's aware of the situation and it is being addressed, the street may be closed to avoid potential danger.


  1. I know this church well, having served as music director and liturgist with three consecutive wonderful pastors for nearly 16 years (until the present priest became pastor in 2008). The damaged south tower is in bad shape to begin with. It houses 10 cast bells which are mounted on wood beams. I have been up into the clock room above the bells a few times to clean clock faces inside, change bulbs lighting the clock faces and to install an electronic pigeon deterant device but some of the screening on the tower opening had fallen out and has never been restored. The last time I was up to the bell level was 2007 and it was not in great shape and with loads of pigeon dung (which is very destructive to buildings). The masonary is also in bad shape and the bells all need to be checked and secured. It is a gorgeous church with some of the most magnificent pictorial stained glass windows.

  2. The unobstructed windows on both sides of the nave were appraised under the director late great Pastor Fr. Donald Kavanaugh shortly before he asked me to take the job there. He told me the appraiser estimated just these tall arched windows on either side of the nave at at least a million dollars. I still miss St. Teresa of Avila and the truly wonderful parishioners I came to know while working there. I wish them well and hope the Bishop has the sense to make sure this church is repaired and preserved. The bells and organ in the church are truly wonderful. It was planned by the previous pastor (prior to present one) that the organ and bells would be eventually restored to their former glory.

    1. Sorry to hear Fr. Donald Kavanaugh has passed away. He was great! That was my beat.


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