120-Year-Old Gothic Church in Flatbush Sold for More than $3 Mil

Flatbush Presbyterian Church on Foster and East 23rd in November of 2018. Liena Zagare/Bklyner
Flatbush Presbyterian Church on Foster and East 23rd in November of 2018. (Photo: Liena Zagare/Bklyner)

FLATBUSH — A church in Flatbush that some neighborhood residents have wanted to save via landmarking in recent years has been sold for more than $3 million.

The 120-year-old decommissioned Flatbush Presbyterian Church, located on East 23rd Street and Foster Avenue, was bought by an anonymous LLC on July 8 for $3,325,000 from the Presbytery of New York City. News of the Gothic-style church being sold was first reported by Patch.

Flatbush residents have long wanted to landmark the church, which is without a congregation and has been listed as a potential residential development site. Leading the charge to landmark the building has been Respect Brooklyn, as Bklyner reported last year.

In December 2018, the group filed an emergency landmark request. In it, Respect Brooklyn described the church as “beautifully harmonized Gothic styled historic stone structures on a corner lot hail[ing] from two different periods, with two different eminent architects being involved decades apart.”

In addition, Respect Brooklyn noted last year that in 1925 it was hailed as an “architectural masterpiece” by the Architectural Forum Journal.

In March, Curbed NY reported that the church, which was once known as “The Little Stone Church in the Potato Patch,” was among the most endangered buildings in Brooklyn.

Now, the sale of the church— built in 1898 and designed by John J. Petit — has again prompted calls to landmark it.

“It is no longer a church and it is in the hands of a private LLC so the danger to this historic building is more real than ever,” Respect Brooklyn’s Linda Allende said Monday in a statement. “We call on the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to calendar this building and allow the Commissioners and the public an opportunity to weigh in on the architectural merits of this beautiful Gothic structure.”

“Now that it is in the hands of a private developer,” said Harry Bubbins, another member of Respect Brooklyn, “we urge [the Landmarks Preservation Commission] to make Flatbush and this building, in particular, a priority and move on to the next step.”

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