Reports: Historic St. Veronica's Church on Christopher Street to Close
GVSHP was distressed to hear reports that St. Veronica’s Church at 149-155 Christopher Street has been slated for closure. The historic, Victorian-Gothic structure, construction upon which began in 1890, has long been a vital presence in the West Village. Originally established to minister to dockworkers and longshoremen, many of them Irish immigrants and their children, by the late 20th century St. Veronica’s had a significantly more diverse make up. Many of its parishioners succumbed to the AIDS epidemic which devastated Greenwich Village in the 1980s and 1990s, and the church housed one of New York’s earliest AIDS memorials. In 2006, the parish of St. Veronica’s was officially closed, and St. Veronica’s became a chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe/St. Bernard’s on West 14th Street.
Fortunately in 2006 GVSHP was also able to get St. Veronica’s Church and rectory and much of its surroundings in the Far West Village landmarked, as part of the first-ever extension of the Greenwich Village Historic District (map). This means these buildings are protected from demolition or even alteration without the approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
GVSHP is reaching out to the parish about the future of the building, the memorial, and other historic features of the church. We also know that many members and neighbors are reaching out in the hopes that St. Veronica’s can remain at this location. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.