After hearing the news that the Korean United Methodist Church of Sheepshead Bay would be tearing down its iconic steeples, Bay Improvement Group President Steve Barrison was dismayed. The 142-year-old church, at 3087 Ocean Avenue came, on the group’s radar once before, back when BIG’s membership numbers were strong and the group was attempting to preserve fixtures of neighborhood character before they got swept up in development and cultural shifts. Unfortunately, that tide of change came, and the group did not succeed in all of its efforts.
Now, he and his group are once again pleading for a local leader or benevolent patron to come forward and help preserve the building’s steeples. Barrison wrote the following statement after reading about the church’s plans on Sheepshead Bites:
We at BIG tried in the early 1990’s pleading with their Board of Directors/Trustees to Landmark the Church and they were sadly, ignorantly afraid of “Landmark status” even though we tried to persuade them with experts in Church preservation, Engineers & Architects and myself, as an Attorney, to explain the great help they would have in obtaining Landmark status. They could have received State, City, Federal and private grants to restore the Church!
We at BIG, offered and wanted to collaborate with them on community awareness and fund raising but they wanted to do it themselves. We even got estimates to stabilize the Church which were way below the estimates they were told by others!
This is very sad and an important landmark in our community that has been there in old photos long before the shape of our community, as we know it today, was in place. Even Lundy had a connection in the history and building and funding of this Church. I wish it wasn’t so, but it seems most people are quick to criticize and complain but not actually put in the effort needed. This is a loss to our history in Brooklyn and our community of Sheepshead Bay. Too bad there couldn’t be some kind of emergency stability right now and then repair to the building and it’s steeples.
This is a true loss and an emergency of the highest priority if someone could come forward with the power and means to save this structure and the steeples immediately.