At 161 16th Street (Fourth/Fifth), a single family townhouse, listed at $675,000. A townhouse in this area for this price, you might wonder? Well yes, of course, there has to be a catch or two. This is an exceedingly small building (14' x 25') on an exceedingly small lot (14' x 25'). Exactly! The house comes without even a handkerchief sized patch of dirt, as it directly abuts the parking lot for both the adjacent condo building & another on 15th Street. A group of similar rowhouses (broken by a gated entrance to the lot) share a common fate. The valiant IMBY wrote about remodeled 157 back in 2011, and you can see its 2 1/2 storey floorplan & some construction horror pics. here.
161 sold this October for $450,000, and has been flipped without renovation. Later that month it was listed at $799,000, and since then it has slipped incrementally to $749, $700, and now its current price. According to the broker (Keller Williams) it's "Ideal for Someone Who is Looking For More Benefits Than A Condo Can Offer."
This week there was plenty of holy demolition news. The Church of the Redeemer (Fourth & Pacific) will be placed on the market for $17,000,000 & the grand Fox Savoy Cinema in Crown Heights - currently operating as a church - just sold for a suspiciously piddling $575,000. Both sales are to include provision for new church premises within apartment developments. Meanwhile, out of the news entirely, a tiny church on a Sunset Park side street has been listed for sale:
"Investor's opportunity! – Excellent investment opportunity in the heart of Sunset Park! The property is currently being used as a church facility but has great potential for many different uses or for condo conversion. Features: a full basement with 2 bathrooms, central heating & Air conditioning, backyard, 2 parking spaces. Zoned R6b. "
The listing price for the building, at 416 46th Street, is $1,049,00, and the date of its construction is said to be 1909. At present the church on site is the Pentacostal El Camino.
When I saw this building (surely all wood, despite the brickfacing), I figured it had to have something of an interesting past, and its sober austerity made me think it could be Scandinavian...
In 2013 I wrote about the history of the church on 46th, but I was confused by the different congregations that occupied the building, and much of what I wrote turned out to be incorrect. I'm replacing what I wrote with the words of a very nice correspondent who recently (and kindly) put me straight, and also sent a photograph of the church in earlier years. Thank you!
The Pentecostal El Camino Church at 416 46th Street actually dates to 1890, not 1909, and was the first church built for the congregation of the St. Jacobi German Evangelical Lutheran Church, now located in the lovely Romanesque Revival building at 5406 Fourth Avenue, a church designed by architect J. M. Murphy and built by my grandfather Andrew M. Andersen. Andrew was a member of that first "Little White Church" congregation and a gifted stone mason and builder who also built St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, designed by L.B. Valk & Son, at 4917 4th Avenue in 1893 at the age of 25. Born in 1868, Andrew was an 1882 immigrant from the North Frisian Island of Sylt, today the most northern island of Germany, but until the 1860s a province of Denmark. A brief history of "The Little White Church" can be found on the St. Jacobi Evangelical Lutheran Church Website (see the history page) along with a row of photos across the top of the home page. One of the photos is of my grandfather.
From what I can gather, the church property was not sold, and the Iglesia Pentecostal El Camino is still active. It's good to know that the old church and its most recent congregation are still there on 46th Street.