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 space.

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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