Sea of Galilee Church on Eldridge Street Shows Off New Exterior After Decade-Long Rehabilitation
From street view, the four-story Sea of Galilee Church at 166 Eldridge Street had been one of the most beautifully decrepit structrues on the Lower East Side. Its faded brick facade fell into disrepair over the last few decades, always appearing on the verge of collapse. That’s why the structure has been under the knife for over ten years. Really. A semi-permanent sidewalk shed – in place since 2003 (!) – was a constant reminder of the ongoing repairs here. At least until last week…
Additional ironwork and netting made a quick appearance this fall, but it too is gone. “It’s been a long journey for us as we have been desperately raising funds since I arrived in 2005,” pastor Anibal Espaillat relays to us. The new facade is definitely a letdown for the history buffs out there, though. Much of its ornate parapet was trimmed in favor of a more conservative cornice.
The congregation continues to raise funds to help pay for the ongoing upgrades.
The Sea of Galilee church was founded in the 1950s, but didn’t find its current home until the following decade. It was then that the congregation purchased and dedicated the facility.
Meanwhile, this Lower East Side block is high on religion with two churches and a soon-to-open mosque.