Friday, May 16, 2014

Old Saint Michael’s Church NYC – 1857 / 1907 - NW Corner 9th Avenue, 31st to 32nd Streets – Eminent Domain – Old Pennsylvania Station – and Tunnels

Old St. Michael's Church and School - 1868
NW Corner Ninth Ave and 31st-32nd Streets
(Public Domain)

Location of Work.—The area covered by the work of the Terminal Station-West is bounded as follows: By the east line of Ninth Avenue; by the south side of 31st Street to a point about 200 ft. west of Ninth Avenue; by a line running parallel to Ninth Avenue and about 200 ft. therefrom, from the south side of 31st Street to the boundary line between the 31st and 32d Street properties; by this line to the east line of Tenth Avenue; by the east line of Tenth Avenue to the boundary line between the 32d and 33d Street properties; by this line to the east line of Ninth Avenue. The area is approximately 6.3 acres.
House-Wrecking.The property between Ninth and Tenth Avenues was covered with buildings, 94 in number, used as dwelling and apartment houses and church properties, and it was necessary to remove these before starting the construction. Most of the property was bought outright by the Railroad Company, but in some cases condemnation proceedings had to be instituted in order to acquire possession. In the case of the property of the Church of St. Michael, fronting on Ninth Avenue, 31st and 32d Streets, the Railroad Company agreed to purchase a plot of land on the south side of 34th Street, west of Ninth Avenue, and to erect thereon a church, rectory, convent, and school, to the satisfaction of the Church of St. Michael, to hand over these buildings in a completed condition, and to pay the cost of moving from the old to the new buildings, before the old properties would be turned over to the Railroad Company.

(Old St. Michael's School - Top Left)

The house-wrecking was done by well-known companies under contract with the Railroad Company. These companies took down the buildings and removed all the materials as far as to the level of the adjacent sidewalks. The building materials became the property of the contractors, who usually paid the Railroad Company for the privilege of doing the house-wrecking. The work was done between April and August, 1906, but the buildings of the Church of St. Michael were torn down between June and August, 1907.
The bricks were cleaned and sold directly from the site, as were practically all the fixtures in the buildings. The stone fronts were broken up and left on the premises. Some of the beams were sold on the premises, but most of them were sent to the storage yards. Some of the lath and smaller timber was sold for firewood, but most of it was given away or burned on the premises.

St. Michael's Church 424 W. 34th Street NYC
(School Building on 33rd Street)
Jeanette O'Keefe,


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