Robert Holden, President of the Juniper Park Civic Association, (718) 651-5865
Tony Nunziato, Chair Maspeth-Middle Village Task Force, (718) 326-4288
Dan Austin, Sr., President, Lutheran Cemetery, (718) 821-1750
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(February 11, 2008) All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village has stepped up to the plate in the battle to save neighboring Maspeth's historic St. Saviour's Church. They have agreed to receive the building as long as funds are raised for the move. The Juniper Park Civic Association has been trying to save the Gothic wooden structure, designed in 1847 by master architect, Richard Upjohn and founded by town pioneers, including James Maurice, a U.S. Congressman, since early 2006.
"At this point, saving the land is still questionable, but we certainly can save the building right now with the million dollars that was set aside for its acquisition, and we are grateful to Dan Austin and All Faiths Cemetery for agreeing to host the church," said Robert Holden, President of Juniper Park Civic Association.
Tony Nunziato, Chair of the Maspeth-Middle Village Task Force said, "Since Councilman Dennis Gallagher secured $1 million last year for the purpose of saving St. Saviour's, this money can be used toward the cost of moving the church." He added, "I am sure this development company would be happy to have the building taken off of their hands."
Dan Austin, Sr., President of All Faiths said, "These folks have worked extremely hard to keep this place standing for so long, and we would be honored to have such an historic building on our property."
Christina Wilkinson, Chair of JPCA's Committee to Save St. Saviour's is relieved that the offer was made. "At this point, the church is in imminent peril and we need to get it out of harm's way right now," she said. On January 22, an expediting service notified property owners in the vicinity that there was a plan to demolish the church building in "5+ days". However, it remains standing. "This church has been waiting for a miracle to save it for 2 years, and it looks like it may finally have found one," Wilkinson stated.
The civic association is currently obtaining estimates for the move and reaching out to Maspeth Development to work out the details. It should be noted that several historic Queens structures have been successfully relocated and renovated, including the Latimer House and Kingsland Homestead in Flushing.