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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

Interior demolition is underway at the former Washington Square United Methodist Church building at 135 West 4th Street that is being converted to 8 condominium apartments by Jon Kully and Mick Walsdorf.

The handsome building, whose facade has large stained-glass windows, is a landmark.

Mr. Kully and Mr. Walsdorf are partners in FLAnk Architects.

The building will now be known as Novare, which means "to be reborn" in Latin. Marketing is expected to begin next week.

The building will have 2 two-bedroom garden apartments and 2 three-bedroom penthouse duplexes with terraces. The six lower apartments are expected to range in price from about $2.3-million to $2.8-million and the two penthouses, which will have living rooms with 26-foot-high ceilings, will be about $6-million each, according to Brian Babst of Corcoran Group Real Estate.

The building is free-standing and the northern facade will be mostly glass with terraces and lightwells will bring additional light into the garden units.

The lobby will be 50-feet high and highlighted by the tall stained-glass windows.

Residents can gain entry via a "virtual doorman" with a color video security system, or a key, or a thumbprint, or a clicker.

The structure is located between the Avenue of the Americas and MacDougall Street and it was the site last year of the world premiere of "Pentimento" by the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company.

The Romanesque-revival-style building was built in 1860 and was designed by Charles Hadden, according to some sources, and by Gamaliel King, according to Elliot Willensky and Norval White in their fine book, "The A.I.A. Guide to New York City, Fourth Edition," Three Rivers Press, 2000).

The congregation started as the Sullivan Street Methodist Episcopal Church at 149 Sullivan Street and when it reorganized as an Episcopal church in 1894 its former sanctuary began the Church of St. Anthony of Padua.

In 1893, the Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church merged with the Washington Square United Methodist Church. The building was a center for antiwar activism during the Vietnam War and The Rev. Bryan Travis Hooper preached in 2003 that "the skies over Iran, like the skies everyone, are the domain of God alone."

In his excellent book, "From Abyssinian to Zion, A Guide To Manhattan's Houses of Worship" (Columbia University Press, 2004), David W. Dunlap, a reporter for The New York Times, noted that the church had also been a sanctuary for gay New Yorkers: "The Harvey Milk School for lesbian and gay youth began at Washington Square in 1985, and the Rev. Paul M. Abels, pastor from 1973 to 1984, was the first openly gay minister with a congregation in a major Christian denomination."

The building is half a block to the west of Washington Square Park and half a block to the east of the Golden Swan Garden on the southeast corner at the Avenue of the Americas.
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.