Church in the Bronx to receive New York Landmarks Conservancy recognition

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced the winners of the 2020 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards.and the Church of St. Anselm and St. Roch is one of them.
Courtesy of Two4Design Architecture

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced the winners of the 2020 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards and a Bronx church is among the recipients of the prestigious recognition.

The Church of St. Anselm and St. Roch at 685 Tinton Ave., will be recognized at a virtual ceremony on Sept. 23  at 6 p.m. The Conservancy is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards.

Modeled after Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, this south Bronx church is one of the few examples of the Byzantine style in New York.  Inside, one will find an even rarer example of Beuronese-style decoration. This German craftwork fills the church with stunning mosaics, frescoes and elaborate metalwork. Water infiltration through the multiple roof domes and brickwork threatened to damage the glorious interior. Harold Martinez of Two4Design Architecture oversaw a comprehensive roof project to stop this threat.

The Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards are the Conservancy’s highest honors for excellence in preservation. The awards recognize individuals, organizations and building owners for their extraordinary contributions to the city.

“This year’s Lucys will be an especially joyous celebration of great preservation work and great preservation leaders,” said Peg Breen, president of The New York Landmarks Conservancy. “It is heartening to see how the awards have grown over the past 30 years and how much preservation has been embedded into the fabric of the city.”

Church of St. Anselm & St. Roch repairs

This project began in 2013 when an assessment revealed that the building was in dire need of repairs. Temporary patches and repairs were no longer preventing consistent leaks that damaged the interior artwork, but the initial project budget of $2 million was daunting. According to the church, the final expenses were closer to $3 million.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which made it eligible for a $500,000 NY State Environmental Protection Fund Grant and assistance from the Landmarks Conservancy. A fundraising campaign undertaken by the church and the Archdiocese filled the budget gap.

At the main roof dome, a failing membrane was removed and copper cladding that matches the original was installed. Tar was removed from masonry and new copper flashing installed throughout. At the lower roofs, a new watertight membrane and lead coping caps will protect the building.

The brick façades underwent a selective repointing and rebuilding process which included the restoration of failed decorative tiles at the front façade. The leaded glass clerestory windows of the central dome and large stained-glass windows at the secondary façade were restored or replaced.  The result is a new copper-clad roof and watertight façade, which will protect the irreplaceable interior.

A Zoom link for the awards will be available at www.nylandmarks.org.

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