HARLEM — The new owner of an abandoned church set for demolition on West 122nd Street filed plans with the city to build a new 6-story building on the lot.
The Second Friendship Baptist Church sold the former horse stable to a private buyer for $1.5 million in July. Within days, the new owner filed demolition plans with the Department of Buildings.
“What we are hoping is to save the façade or incorporate the design of the façade into the new design,” said Cindy Worley, who has lived on the block more than 30 years. “I think it would be a benefit to have a set of condos on the street reminiscent of the carriage house. I mean you could call it the ‘Stable House.’”
Plans for a new building were filed Friday and have not yet been approved by the Department of Buildings, records show.
The plans do not contain a design for the 8,800 square foot building, which will have a roof terrace, a penthouse, and a cellar.
In August, the block association met with State Sen. Bill Perkins to ask for his help in preserving the historic building, possibly by expediting the landmark process.
Perkins' office did not respond to questions about about plans for the new building.
News of the filings puts more pressure on the block association to act fast.
“It seems like we have to stay on top of it,” Worley said.
Worley hasn’t seen the new design and hopes that there are elements of the stable on the new building. She said the new owner has indicated that he is open to the idea.
The owner did not respond to questions about the building’s design Tuesday afternoon.
Michael Henry Adams, a historian who has been working with the block association to try to preserve part of the church, is confident that they can come to some sort of agreement with the new owners.
“[We] remain hopeful that meeting with the owners, they can come to some accommodation with the community,” he said.
By saving what is left of the stable the developers could benefit from tax credits, similar to the ones the developers of the Corn Exchange Building received, he added.