The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is now reviewing updated proposals to renovate the landmarked Episcopal St. James Church and redevelop the parish’s campus at 2500 Jerome Avenue in the Fordham section of The Bronx. The updates arrive as an attempt to strengthen the dialogue between the religious structure and the proposed residential building.
Newly revealed renderings illustrate heightened debossed arches in the façade of the new building, above pedestrian entrances into the parish grounds, and above numerous windows and pathways leading into the residential volume. The design team has also reduced the number of windows at the north elevation of the structure and lopped off a portion of the upper levels along East 190th Street to reduce pedestrian visibility.
Previously revealed proposals specified three distinct programs, most likely phases, of development. Phase one focuses on renovating the 19th century church building, phase two includes demolition of the adjacent food pantry and community kitchen constructed in 1959, and phase three calls for the construction of a nine-story mixed-income residential building with a large ground-floor community center.
The residential building will contain a mix of income-restricted studios, one-, and two-bedroom apartments. Amenity spaces will include an outdoor terrace adjacent to the community center, a roof terrace above the residential volume, a library, a multi-purpose room, a fitness center, laundry facilities, bike storage, and a computer room.
To complete the project, the Episcopal St. James Church has partnered with Concern Housing Partners, a non-profit agency registered in the State of New York under the Concern for Independent Living umbrella, Dattner Architects, Barry Donaldson Architects, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects, and preservation experts Higgins Quasebarth & Partners.
The LPC has not released its decision on the proposed renovation nor redevelopment of the parish grounds.