The Folly on East 12th Street

Out for a walk in the East Village today, the Lady and I passed by this church:

St. Ann's doors

But wait…there’s something a little strange here…

St. Ann's


St. Ann’s Church, on East 12th Street, once extended from 12th Street to 11th Street. But times changed, and eventually the church closed. Developers built a dormitory on the site. The ungainly combination the generic dorm towering behind the facade of the once-stately church was roundly criticized when the project was completed. Even though it’s been this way for several years now, it can still be rather jarring when you come upon it—but only if you are aware of what’s around you rather than what’s on your device’s little screen. That’s why I always have ears up and my nose to the ground when we are out on our walks. You never know what you might miss if you are not paying attention.

When we returned from our walk, I had to indulge in a chewy to soothe my wounded aesthetic sensibilities.

Albert the Dog




14 thoughts on “The Folly on East 12th Street

  1. My sister told me about that church. I didn’t get a chance to walk by it till this weekend. Such a shame. I grew up on the LES. it saddens me how the old buildings get razed for the modern structures.

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  2. Progress is a tiresome thing … casualties along the way and all that and sometimes i do think the designers get it wholly wrong as, indeed, they did here – maybe just a memory of the old Church might have been less confusing for delicate aesthetes such as you. Very relieved there was a chewy at the end of the walk to make amends for the catastrophic assault on your architectural sensibilities 🙂

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    • I think that’s true. This misguided attempt to appease the preservationists in the community seems to leave the church facade just looking undignified. A memory of the whole thing might have been better than this.

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      • When I married my first husband we took a break in Paris as our honeymoon. I took lots of pictures. My camera seized up and the film was ruined and I cried and cried and my husband said ‘if you can’t remember it, it is not worth the photo’. I have remembered those wise words ever since and I think in this instance, they might apply

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  3. What a wasted opportunity to design a modern structure that honors and complements the beauty of the original. I hope the chewy assuaged your wounded aesthetic sensibilities, Albert!

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