165-year-old St. Saviour’s may have new home


| brennison@queenscourier.com |

St. Saviour's
Photo Courtesy of Bob Holden

A 165-year-old church may soon receive new life.

There have been discussions to move St. Saviour’s Church to the Onderdonk House, a fellow historic Queens locale.

St. Saviour’s has searched for a new home since being deconstructed four years ago. During that time it has been warehoused in trailers in Maspeth.

Bob Holden, who has spearheaded the search, said members on the board of the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society — which runs the Onderdonk House — seemed receptive to the idea.

Holden, the Juniper Park Civic Association president and St. Saviour’s advocate, said rebuilding the church on the Onderdonk House’s land provides them with a property for wedding receptions.

“An 1847 Carpenter Gothic church would fit nicely,” Holden said. “It could conceivably raise revenue.”

The Onderdonk House is a landmarked site on Flushing Avenue in Ridgewood and serves as a museum while also holding cultural events. Officials there could not be reached for comment.

A presentation to the board of the historic house in Ridgewood will be made in the coming months. A model of the project must first be constructed. If the board approves, the plan would also need to be okayed by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The move would not be made until next year at the earliest, according to Holden, who noted that up to $2 million for the project has been earmarked by Borough President Helen Marshall’s office.

The Onderdonk House is just one of several choices for the church.

Other options include moving the church to a plot of land at All Faiths Cemetery or finding a spot in west Maspeth, where the church stood for more than 160 years.

Built in 1847, St. Saviour’s closed in 1995 due to a dwindling congregation. For more than a decade the church continued to stand on Maspeth Hill before deconstruction in 2008.

The main goal is just to ensure the church is rebuilt, but Holden said he knows where it belongs.

“The ideal plan is the original property,” he said. “It belongs in Maspeth.”