Last weekend, I was scouting some locations on Staten Island, and the last on my list was this church at the southern tip of the island.
At first, everything about the 185-foot tall Church of St. Joachim and St. Anne seemed perfectly normal.
But as I was taking some angle shots, something started to feel…off.
Then, as I walked around to the side, all of a sudden it occurred to me…
What happened to the back of the church??
It reminded me of old cartoons where Donald Duck or Bugs Bunny would build an insanely impressive mansion facade in front of a normal-sized house to fool people.
From the rear, you can see that a concrete wall holds most of the upper structure up:
As it happens, this incongruous pairing was the result of a tragic fire that ripped through the original church in 1973 and destroyed most of it.
Miraculously, a sizable portion of the facade survived and was later installed as the front of the new, smaller church.
But you want to know the weirdest thing? You’ve seen this church before.
Sure you have! You mean you’ve forgotten? It was back in 1972, a year before the fire.
If I recall, you were there for a baptism…
Full then-and-now look at The Godfather coming soon!
If you enjoyed reading this post, would you consider making a donation to help me make my first movie? The goal is $50,000, and to date, 1,701 Scouting NY readers have donated $35,874! Just $5 or $10 can make a difference - AND you get this snazzy Scouting NY sticker/magnet as a Thank-You gift! Click here to donate today!