Last November, YIMBY wrote about plans to demolish the Second Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem and replace it with a new residential building. Now we have a look at the project, which will be a graceful addition to Lenox Avenue just north of Central Park.
Designed by Issac & Stern Architects, the eight-story development will bring 27 apartments to the corner of Lenox Avenue, a.k.a. Malcolm X Boulevard, and 111th Street. They’ll be divided across 28,544 square feet of residential space, for a typical unit measuring 1,057 square feet.
The church will occupy 11,000 square feet on the first two floors, plus a kitchen in the cellar and office space on the second floor. Residential space will begin on the third floor, with five units and a recreation room. There will be six units apiece on the fourth and fifth floors, four apiece on the sixth and seventh floors, and just two apartments on the eighth floor.
Level One Holdings is developing the project with New Canaan. The Bushwick-based firm leased the 7,200-square-foot property from the church in July 2016.
The design is attractive and subdued, appropriate for this historic part of south Harlem. The new, glassed-in space will likely be a big improvement for the church, which had to contend with maintaining a hundred-year-old building that had few windows.
The church’s unusual building was constructed around the turn of the century, when Eastern European Jewish immigrants were flocking uptown. It was once the Goldberg and Jacobs Lenox Theatre, one of several in Harlem that offered Yiddish theatrical productions and musicals, according to Harlem + Bespoke.