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


GWA Architects' feaibility study design for the redevelopment of the Baptist Temple Sanctuary in Boerum Hill (GHW Architects) GWA Architects' feaibility study design for the redevelopment of the Baptist Temple Sanctuary in Boerum Hill (GHW Architects)
The “borough of churches” may lose another of its historic houses of worship. In Brooklyn's Boerum Hill, the 120-year-old Baptist Temple Sanctuary is in jeopardy of coming down or of being greatly altered. The Romanesque Revival-style building has anchored the corner of 3rd Avenue and Schermerhorn Street since 1894 and was originally designed by the prolific Ohio-based architects of Weary & Kramer. After a fire, the auditorium-style interiors were reconstructed (1918) by Dodge & Morrison. The building is not a city landmark but is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Baptist-Temple-Sactuary-32 Copyright the New York Public Library Digital Collection
According to Brownstoner, where the building was featured as the “Building of the Day" on May 22, 2012, writer Suzanne Spellen writes that the congregation has the distinction of being the oldest Baptist church in Brooklyn, and the second oldest Baptist congregation in Long Island. It was designed by the prolific Ohio-based architects of Weary & Kramer who had designed more than 2,200 churches by the time of Kramer’s retirement in 1924. The sturdy exterior is fortified with red brick, brownstone, and terra cotta; and its windows are made by Colonial Art Glass of Brooklyn.
Interior of Baptist Temple Sactuary via NYC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
After a damaging three-alarm fire in 2010, the current church body named The Recovery House of Worship (RHOW), tapped Corcoran, then TerraCRG to find interested suitors to overhaul the building and carve out a new home for its parishioners. The partnering developer would reap the unused development rights, which is estimated to amount to an additional 55,000-SF according to Crain’s. The National Register cannot prevent the structure from being razed, and according to the paper, a roughly 100,000-square-foot building can be built anew at the site if the church is entirely removed.
Today, a rendering was posted on Instagram by the local firm of Gertler & Wente Architects showing a dramatically altered building at the corner site. Per the post, GWA says the shown redevelopment would include retail space, 3 stories of church functions, a sanctuary and a 5-story hotel. The church sits in between the borough's current tallest building HUB at 333 Schermerhorn Street and near Alloy Development's plan for a mixed-use pair of skyscrapers at 80 Flatbush.
Vision for a new church sanctuary (GWA)
360-Schermerhorn-03 GWA
Baptist Temple-Sanctuary-34 GWA
GWA notes, "The feasibility study explored different strategies for this combination of uses while expressing the church as the predominant element." As an explanation to renderings shown, they say, "The sanctuary is marked on the exterior either as totally transparent space open to the street with views into a large scale cross, or, in a more traditional approach, with large-scale colored glass windows. Different ideas for the corner included a glowing glass steeple, a hollowed out void of a phantom tower and a tear in the fabric of the whole building opening up a connection to the sky."
There has yet to be an announcement that the congregation has found a development partner, and it is unknown if RHOW commissioned GHW's design. TerraCRG’s still-live RFP says” The proposed plan by RHOW calls for the development of a ~112,463 SF to ~120,853 SF mixed-use building consisting of ~52,053 SF of community facility and ~5,356 of retail space, both to be developed by the development partner and retained by RHOW , as well as ~53,148 residential square feet or ~61,538 office/hotel-square-feet to be developed and retained by the developer.
360-Schermerhorn-Street Photo of Baptist Temple in 2008 via Jim Henderson / Wikipedia
360-Schermerhorn-04 Google Earth aerial (CityRealty)

Additional Info About the Building

New Developments Editor Ondel Hylton Ondel is a lifelong New Yorker and comprehensive assessor of the city's dynamic urban landscape.
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