Saving Our Lady of Loreto...

the Brownsville Area Cultural Coalition


Community representatives from throughout the region, many from the Brooklyn neighborhood served by the former Our Lady of Loreto church, are working together to build the case and the resources for saving and adaptively reusing this structure for their communities. Some of them are pictured above, April 2016, Left to right: Richie James (American Institute of Architects), Mario Toglia (Historian), Farrah Lafontant (Brooklyn Arts Council), Damian Mercado; James Ward, III (Architect); Zulmilena Then (Preserve East New York); Ena K. McPherson (Bed-Stuy Resident/Brooklyn Community Board #3); Josephine Maio (Local resident and long-time parishioner of OLL).


Its survival fulfills a promise the Diocese made to the State and this community in 2010. Link here*  
It is also 
    a tribute to a century of immigrants who have lived, worked & worshipped here and represents continuity through change; 
    a powerful work of art, created by immigrant artists and artisans of what was then a marginalized community to declare their value to America (Read about its build history here.) ; 
    a National Register-eligible landmark whose claim on the human spirit belongs to Brooklyn and to this neighborhood, now so housing saturated as to have become what urban planners call a “cultural desert”;  
    a supplement to quality affordable housing, meeting the need to enrich lives and anchor neighborhoods where such housing exists. Reminder: the apron of this very site is already in use for 66 such units, paid for by the loss of the rectory and school. 

Little thought has been given to the cultural enrichment of those who now live and will live here in the future! Landmarks are NOT just for rich neighborhoods.  The need for culture and self-expression knows no distinctions of class, income and language. People in every walk of life deserve awe-inspiring spaces around them, put to creative use! 

Saving this beautiful church is not a one-group struggle.  As Americans we can ALL celebrate how it came to be here and the values it represents, and together tell its story of a need for respect and beauty in our lives.  Together we can claim its transcendent message and enable it to serve our many diverse cultural needs. 
For now. 
For the future. 
For everyone.                                                                       Saving_It...the_Brownsville_Cultural_Coalition_files/NY%20SHPO%202010.pdfMore_on_Significance.htmlMore_on_Significance.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1shapeimage_3_link_2
Sample letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission of the City of New York. Opens as pdf. 
Copy and sign or adapt to your own voice and send to the address on the letter.Saving_It...the_Brownsville_Cultural_Coalition_files/Public-%20Letter%20to%20Landmarks.pdf

the Brownsville Cultural Coalition

374 Milford St - Suite 2B, Brooklyn NY 11208

Phone c/o Brownsville Heritage House: (718) 385-1111

VIDEO: Gerry Ferretti interviews Lou Gallo & Mario Toglia on the importance of saving Our Lady of Loreto Church in Brownsville