Brooklyn Orthodox Christian Church building nominated for Historic Place status

St. Nicholas Antiochan Orthodox Cathedral on State Street, Brooklyn, originally St. Peter’s Protestant Episcopal Church. Photo courtesy of Jim Henderson / Wikipedia

A church building at 355 State St. in Boerum Hill is one of 19 buildings Governor Kathy Hochul has named for State and National Records of Historic Places.

The church was built as the Protestant Saint-Pierre Episcopal Church, but since 1920 it has been the Saint-Nicolas Antiochan Orthodox Cathedral. As such, he played a key role in promoting the Arab-speaking Orthodox Christian community in Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th century.

Most of the original congregation members were Syrian and Lebanese immigrants who first formed a congregation in Manhattan in 1895 and then moved to a location on Pacific Street in Brooklyn several years later. The current church house is the oldest continuously used Antiochan Christian Orthodox church in North America.

According to the church’s website, when the church bought the former episcopal place of worship, “The parishioners succeeded in converting it into an Orthodox place of worship with the iconostasis, icons, chandeliers, etc. managed to rent it on a monthly basis.

In June of this year, the State Street block where the church is located was co-named “St. Raphael of Brooklyn Place,” in a ceremony attended by several public officials. Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, born in Lebanon, was the first Orthodox bishop to be consecrated in North America, and he served as Bishop of Brooklyn until his death.

Other notable buildings proposed by Governor Hochul include a “castle” built by prominent mountain photographer / aviator Catskill Otto Hillig; a Buffalo bakery that helped introduce Wonder Bread to America; and a community library in the Adirondacks.

“New York’s historic places are invaluable treasures that help us connect with our state’s past and rich heritage,” Governor Hochul said.. “These appointments reflect the fantastic breadth of the state’s history and the prominent role New York has played in the events that have helped shape our nation. These additions to the historical records will help ensure that resources are available to protect these iconic places and that their stories will inspire us long into the future. ”

Listing on state and national registers can help homeowners revitalize their properties, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and rehabilitation tax credits. history of states and federal government. Over the past decade, the state has approved the use of commercial tax credits to rehabilitate more than 1,000 historic properties, generating more than $ 12 billion in private investment.

“Part of our mission here at State Parks is to help preserve and promote the incredible array of stories present in the state,” said Erik Kulleseid, commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Preservation historical.. “Ensuring recognition of these places provides resources that will help keep this history alive and vibrant. ”

State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, neighborhoods, landscapes, objects and sites important to the history, architecture, archeology, and culture of New State. York and the nation.

There are over 120,000 historic properties statewide listed on the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as components of historic districts. Landowners, municipalities and community organizations from across the state sponsored the nominations.

Once the recommendations are approved by the State Park Commissioner, who acts as the state’s historic preservation official, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places, then nominated, reviewed. and, once approved, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. .

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