Actor Matt Damon has joined a rising checklist of celebrities searching for to stop a historic church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York Metropolis from being torn down and become a $30 million luxurious condominium.
In accordance to The Christian Put up, Damon’s efforts to save West Park Presbyterian Church, positioned at 165 W 86th Avenue, features a efficiency of the play “This Is Our Youth” on Nov. 16 for The Middle at West Park, a not-for-profit group performing arts heart positioned contained in the Romanesque Revival constructing. Attendance on the church has dwindled down to 12 lately.
He joins different celebrities, similar to actors Mark Ruffalo and Wendell Pierce, comic Amy Schumer, and rapper and actor Frequent, within the battle to save the constructing.
As reported by The New York Instances, the church was made a NYC landmark regardless of the congregation’s needs.
In 2022, church leaders signed a binding contract with the condominium’s developer since they may not afford a $2 million restore invoice. Moreover, they filed a hardship software wanting to de-landmark and demolish the constructing for the condominium, which may also embody worship area for the church.
Thus far, the Landmarks Preservation Fee (LPC) has evaluated the church’s hardship software. Throughout a public assembly on Oct. 31, the LPC examined an impartial evaluation they commissioned, with some commissioners recommending a variety of different makes use of for the church, together with a daycare heart or occasion venue.
Though the LPC’s hardship statute requires an affordable return on a 6 p.c funding crucial to restore the church, that return couldn’t be obtained if a 3rd social gathering owns the constructing.
“As an elder of the church and a founding member of the Middle at West Park, I am additionally annoyed with the tough place we discover ourselves in in the present day. We helped create the Middle in 2017 to have a good time the humanities whereas fundraising for repairs to the constructing. Nonetheless, the funds by no means got here by means of regardless of greater than a decade of guarantees and commitments from native leaders,” Marsha Flowers, ruling elder of the West Park Presbyterian Church and a founding board member of the Middle at West Park, informed The Christian Put up in an announcement.
“Our congregation is now targeted on creating a brand new area for worship and the humanities, and we hope to use our proceeds to assist different church buildings meet their mission and keep away from circumstances like ours.”
Tickets for the play, written by Kenneth Longergon, will begin at $500 on Nov. 16, with a second efficiency the following day at $250. Moreover, there will likely be some seats on the second day of the play the place individuals pays no matter they need.
“For over a decade, the board of the Middle at West Park has been working to protect this necessary NYC landmark as an accessible cultural useful resource for the native neighborhood and the NYC performing arts group,” the Middle at West Park defined on the marketing campaign web page.
“The Middle at West Park is a crucial and thriving inventive and cultural hub. Since 2017, the middle has introduced greater than 300 performances to over 15,000 viewers members,” the group provides.
“Collectively, we will make our voices heard and present that our group desires extra accessible and inclusive areas for arts and tradition, not one other luxurious high-rise growth.”
As of Friday, the marketing campaign has raised shut to $20,000 out of its $250,000 aim.
Picture Courtesy: ©Getty Photos/Noam Galai / Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a contract author and content material creator. He’s a contributing author for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical fact. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.
LISTEN: How United Ought to the International Church Be?
The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are these of the audio system and don’t essentially mirror the views or positions of Salem Net Community and Salem Media Group.
WATCH: 5 Indicators Your Church May Be Heading Towards Progressive Christianity
Inventory Footage & Music Courtesy of Soundstripe.com Thumbnail by Getty Photos