If the idea of living in a former church intrigues you, there are plenty of options on the market. Just yesterday, 6sqft featured a $3 million Williamsburg condo with soaring cathedral ceilings. But the 26-foot ceilings at this $6,900/month Brooklyn Heights church turned condo are some of the most spectacular we’ve yet to see in the residential realm. Located at 99 Clinton Street in the old Presbyterian Church, the architecture is downright holy, with many of the 19th century cathedral details like stained glass windows incorporated into the interior. And the exterior still boasts its historic stone facade.
When this listing calls this condo “one of a kind,” they aren’t kidding: This apartment was carved from the former Pentecostal Church at 541 Leonard Street in Williamsburg. (These day’s it’s not at all uncommon for religious buildings to go residential.) The building holds three apartments total, all with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, boasting keyed elevator access, 20-foot wood-beamed ceilings and access to private outdoor space. This particular apartment is now on the market for $3.3 million.
It’s hard not to stare in awe at the impressive building at 555 Washington Avenue on the northeast corner of Atlantic and Washington Avenues near the border between Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights; the spectacular Gothic cathedral–fittingly known as Cathedral Condominiums–was built in 1914 as a seminary and converted to condos in 1988. The building’s gargoyles and cathedral windows make it the kind of place it’s hard not to try to imagine coming home to.
This one-bedroom-plus-loft “duplex” apartment would be a nice place to call home in any building, but the fact that it’s tucked away in this one makes it that much more special. While the interior is neither Gothic nor solemn, custom details, four distinct living areas and a great design eye make this feel like a find at $850K.
Built in 1860 as a Methodist church, 135 West 4th Street underwent an incredible condo conversion by FLAnk Architecture in 2006, where they beautifully preserved original church features such as stained glass windows and exposed beams, but added all the modern luxuries an A-list celeb would want. The aforementioned penthouse first sold for $6 million to entrepreneur Mark Kress and was then listed for resale for $8.5 million in 2009. It ended up selling the following year for a much-reduced $6.3 million, and then found a renter in Jude Law. Now, the duplex is back on the market asking $12,495,000, and it can be all yours (assuming you keep your orange lobbing at bay).
One of the neighborhood’s oldest landmarks, the Saint Vincent De Paul Church at 167 North Sixth Street in Williamsburg‘s uber-trendy North Side was recently converted into 40 rental apartments known as the Spire Lofts. We know that converted churches get people’s attention at the very least–but like many historic building conversions, they can be a disappointment. The apartments here don’t try to be especially historic–but the interiors differ somewhat from the usual boilerplate rental “lofts” that tend to spring up like weeds in North Brooklyn.
The building’s recently-listed batch of two- and three-bedrooms ranges from $6,400 to $8,000 (the spoken-for one-bedrooms started at $4k), so they’re pricey. The interiors are somewhat innovative, though. The listing promises “…modern details and state-of-the-art finishes [that] blend flawlessly with expertly salvaged materials, including original exposed brick, reclaimed Heart Pine pillars and beams, arched stained glass windows, custom steel work and exceptional quirks around every corner.” On the down side, there’s no floor plan and no mention of square footage.
We’re all keen on the trend of buying religious institutions for use as residential buildings. But in Manhattan, living on hallowed ground often means shelling out millions to nab just a room or two in one of these holy structures. Well, if you’re on a budget and have designs on living in something a little more divine than a church attic studio (and don’t mind giving up the city life), then feast your eyes on this amazing wood frame church located 90 minutes from Manhattan in the town of Harris in the Catskills. Priced at a mere $99,000, this 2,500-square-foot cutie was constructed in 1920, comes with half an acre, and according to its Craigslist listing, is in “excellent shape!”
No matter what your spiritual beliefs, we think it’s safe to argue that throughout history churches have represented some of the most beautiful architecture in the world, and the historic Presbyterian Church at 99 Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights is no exception. Within its rich, mid-nineteenth-century stone exterior you will find this thoughtfully converted two-bedroom duplex loft, blessed with double-height ceilings, original wide-plank hardwood floors, exposed beams, and a series of stunning stained glass windows that will make living here feel like your own little piece of heaven.
In the face of financial pressures, dozens of churches across Brooklyn are looking sell of their holy land in hopes of banking on the conversion trend that’s taken the city by storm. According to DNA Info, more than 50 Brooklyn clergy members are looking to develop their land and air rights to offer more affordable housing and other community services.
Hundreds of religious leaders attended a recent meeting hosted by Borough President Eric Adams detailing how they could raise money as their shrinking congregations give way to fundraising and budgetary constraints.
“You are land-rich but cash-poor. The largest amount of housing potential in Brooklyn lies with you,” Reverend Gilford Monrose, director of the Borough President’s faith-based initiatives, said at the event.
The Anshei Meseritz Temple soon to be turned into condos © LuciaM via Panoramio
New Yorkers know it often takes some divine intervention to land a great apartment. Luckily, with dozens of churches and synagogues now being partially or totally converted into luxury residential buildings, high-end apartment hunters can go straight to the source.
As congregations grapple with changing demographics, shrinking memberships, and costly upkeep of historic buildings, many religious institutions are concluding that it makes better financial sense to sell off a portion of their development rights, relocate to a more affordable site, or even close their doors for good.
Formerly a seminary, the gothic-style structure sitting in Fort Greene at the crossroads of Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill was reborn as Cathedral Condominiums, and this 1,100-square-foot home within is certainly one to be worshipped. No matter what your religious persuasion there’s no denying the windows in this stunning condo at 555 Washington Avenue are a blessing.