Artwork Could Be the Salvation for a Shuttered Church in Manhattan

Jan 04, 2019 860

BY: Diana DuCroz

Two white marble saints keep watch over the arched doorways at St. Stephen’s Church although no one enters or leaves through them. The 160-year-old brownstone building they guard has sat in silence over this midblock stretch of East 28th Street since the parish merged with another in 2015.

St. Stephen’s was closed by the Archdiocese of New York as part of its Making All Things New restructuring initiative. Although some closed churches have been sold and a few demolished, St. Stephen’s may have a happier ending. “The church is beautiful,” says Mark Thompson, a longtime member of Community Board 6, “but the inside is what’s really really important.”

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