Archdiocese: $10 million in repairs needed to keep beloved Yonkers church open
The archdiocese says it would cost $10 million to fix the exterior of St. Mary's Church in Yonkers and keep it open. That figure is contained in a report prepared for the archdiocese.
"Excessive, that is too much money to do the restoration of the exterior," said John Adely. He has been a parishioner of the church for more than 40 years and an engineer for even longer. He took a look at the report.
"The report didn't indicate to the best of my knowledge any structural deficiency of the church, which is a major issue. The church is solid and sound based on my experience," he said.
The report mentions unsafe conditions, which he agrees with. Scaffolding surrounds the building to prevent pedestrians and parishioners from falling debris and loose chips of stone.
"Yes, it's happening and it has to be taken care of. We have a safety issue, but that safety issue does not require a lot of money," Adely said.
Yonkers Assembly Member Nader Sayegh sent a letter to Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan with a simple message.
"The decision to close St. Mary's is the wrong decision," Sayegh said.
Sayegh said local historians are in the process of filling out an application to have the church designated as a historical landmark.
"This parish, this church, this structure is not only 175 years old. It's the only parish I know of in New York state and the entire archdiocese that has a mass in English, Spanish and Arabic," Sayegh aded.
In a statement, the archdiocese said it has yet to issue a decree about the church one way or another.