This is Greenpoint’s beautiful St. Elias Church, located on shady Kent Street. And yes, that’s a FOR RENT sign on the front.
Once serving the community as both a church and Sunday school for more than 140 years, St. Elias is now completely empty, and has been since 2007, when the property was purchased by developers.
For a while, the plan was to sell it as a mansion, with an asking price of $3.4 million for the church and $3.7 million for the school portion (the facade would be preserved). Unfortunately, the days of eccentric buyers purchasing empty churches seems to have passed, and St. Elias’ future is somewhat up in the air.
The good news is that St. Elias is available for film shoots, and any number of other short term uses. In fact, it was rented for a robot orchestra in February!
From a scouting standpoint, St. Elias is a one-of-a-kind shooting location. Finding film-friendly churches can be difficult, because you often run into the question of content approval. And for some reason, a lot of movies shot in New York don’t always portray the church in the kindest light…
There’s a lot of great detail in the church portion, which is lined with mahogany pews:
The school is equally impressive, with a mezzanine and windows encompassing the third-story level:
I love this choir loft on the upper level…
…which has two enormous sliding frosted glass window panels. I wonder how many kids sang up here over the years:
A very curvy hallway…
A classroom, with hardwood floors:
I believe this was the former vestiary:
A small chalkboard – no chalk, but the string still hangs. Something about this makes me sad, not sure why.
Beautiful windows at the entrance:
Stained glass windows poking through the decay:
The trap door to the tower, which has views of Manhattan:
But my favorite hidden find in St. Elias? This wooden bar in the basement, which feels as old as the church:
Note the liquor racks on the walls…
I would love to know if everyone knew about it…or if only certain parishioners were privy to its existence! It was a Catholic church after all…