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Standing Up

by Ann Morrow on April 10, 2013


Photo by Ann Morrow

The battle continues over St. Patrick’s Church in Watervliet. A plan to incorporate the church’s façade and 137-foot-high tower into the design of the Price Chopper store was declined on Tuesday by Nigro Companies, owners of the church and campus. Among the reasons cited was that the church front would take up too much space from the 40,200-square-foot supermarket.

Also on Tuesday (April 10), a complaint was filed by Rosemary Nichols, the attorney for the grassroots group Citizens for St. Patrick’s, regarding the removal of 13 water ducts necessary for drainage—a violation, she said, of the temporary restraining order halting demolition previously issued by the state Appellate Court. The Citizens group has a pending injunction with the court challenging the rezoning of the property by the Watervliet City Council that paved the way for its demolition and development. The group is also challenging the legality of the transfer of property from the Albany Catholic Diocese to Nigro Companies. A decision is expected later this month.

Earlier in the week, evidence was given to Citizens indicating that the church was built over a steel support structure, contradicting Nigro Companies’ report from last year that St. Patrick’s is at risk for collapse. The church’s stability was confirmed by nationally known historic restoration architect John G. Waite.