St. John the Divine Stonecutting Shed
Currently Under Community Litigation
This huge steel shed
on Amsterdam Avenue next to the
Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
is one of the neighborhood's worst (and most unnecessary) eyesores.
It was built during the 80's to house advanced computer-controlled stonecutting
equipment. The equipment was to be used partly for the cathedral
itself and partly to make some money from the 1980's construction boom.
In partnership with a developer, this project was named Stoneworks. It
received several important stonecutting commissions, including the facade
restoration of the Iowa State Capitol and the expansion of the Jewish Museum
on Fifth Avenue. Unfortunately, the project did not work out as a business
proposition after the end of the 80's real-estate boom, and in 1994, then
owned by a quarry in Alabama, it folded amidst contractual disputes. The
tragedy of this supposedly "temporary" building is that its site has been
intended since the
original design of the cathedral to be a splendid open park-like
St. John's is currently having a master plan made by Wendy Feuer for a religious conference center on this site, and there is talk of tearing the shed down to make way for this. Ms. Feuer did Columbia's highly-regarded master plan in 1999.
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