The New York Presbytery voted to rent out part of the West-Park Presbyterian Church at 86th street and Amsterdam Avenue and to sell an apartment used by the Rev. Robert Brashear to raise money for renovations to the 123-year-old church.

Brashear told us in a note that he wants to work toward removing the scaffolding around the building, which has been up since 2002. As commenters have noted, the church has been in a pretty decrepit state for years. Hopefully, this is the start of it bouncing back. West-Park is known as one of the most open and generous religious institutions in the community.

Brashear wrote:

“I was very pleased. The last vote on this issue was a negative 35-38, so a positive  59-16 is a significant turn around. This time the recommendation came from two Presbytery committees, one affirming our viability and the other the financial soundness of our overall plan. It is important to understand that West-Park would not be using the proceeds to meet operational costs or to just hang on a little longer. We have been doing that on our own. We needed to sell the manse to finance our side of the repairs necessary to bring in  the dance company which will fund the rest of the work necessary to bring the church house up to code. The income from the annual rental will be sufficient to keep West-Park financially stable for the next 15 years. With that stability, the community can rest assured that we will be here and we can begin the community organizing activities necessary to finally remove the scaffolding. (Which has been up since 2002, not 25 years as one comment suggested.) The committees made their reports, our congregation made a presentation showing or current life and future dreams. And the ensuing vote showed strong endorsement of our plans. We will continue to be here on the Upper West Side…”

To learn more about the building’s history, click here.

Thanks to Ken for the photo.

HISTORY, NEWS | 2 comments | permalink
    1. dcortex says:

      Maybe they can have a Polka Revival:
      For some there is no other dance,
      Than a polka dance, where all can prance.
      From Poland, Latvia, and Russia, too,
      The polka starts popping and is counted in two.
      Smetna and Strauss and others were led,
      To write down the polka dots stuck in their heads.
      If Wenceslas were around today,
      Clipped from: http://firstpresevansville.com/sermons/dancing-day/
      A polka is what he would have them play.
      So tie up your shoes and head for the floor,
      For a polka is one dance we can all adore.

      • First of all, dcortex, awesome reply. Prancing is what freezing temperatures call for.

        Second, was there any indication of how the congregation itself (as it were) is going to sustain the property? Unless there’s an active local congregation, I don’t see much future sustainability, which would come from regular gifts from church members.