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Bishop Provenzano: No Current Plans for Cathedral Property Development

diocese-logo-mark-full-color_square.pngThe letter below was submitted to the editor of Garden City News on January 25, 2022. 

To the editor: 

The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and the Cathedral of the Incarnation have, from the time of the Stewart family’s original bequests, been a fellow landowner and neighbor of numerous generations of Garden City residents. As its eighth bishop, I feel the need to respond to various comments made through social media and in other public forums regarding the Cathedral’s plans with respect to portions of the Cathedral property.

In 2021, the governing board of the Cathedral—the Cathedral Chapter—made the difficult decision to demolish the “Cathedral House” which sat directly adjacent to the railroad tracks between Cherry Valley and Cathedral Avenues. The building no longer met the needs of the Cathedral and would have required tremendous rehabilitation expense for an uncertain outcome. Prior to demolition, the site had been leased to local utility companies in connection with the rewiring of electrical service to the Garden City community. The site is currently being leased to a contractor hired by the MTA to construct and replace the railroad trestle over Cherry Valley Avenue. That lease will run for a minimum of 18 months during which time the Cathedral must consider how to utilize the site for the greatest benefit of its mission.

The financial status of both the Diocese and the Cathedral are on solid footing. It should be noted that the current renovation project involving the Cathedral building has been undertaken using funds already available without the necessity of seeking new sources of funding. When completed, this renovation project will bring the Cathedral into the 21st century regarding access for the disabled and broaden its potential use by the Cathedral congregation, residents of Garden City, and its surrounding communities. The same can be said of the organ restoration project currently underway which will bring new vitality to the Cathedral’s vibrant music program.  However, plans for providing upgrades to the Cathedral property, new space for Cathedral offices and educational programs, and expansion of the Cathedral’s social programs and outreach within the Diocese and the Village of Garden City, require proper stewardship of its assets into the future.

The Cathedral has solicited preliminary interest from the business community as to what use might be made of the Cathedral House site once the railroad bridge project is completed. We expect to receive inquiries from a broad spectrum of interested parties. To the extent that the Cathedral and Diocese consider any suggestions, they will be evaluated with primary concern for the religious and charitable goals of the Cathedral in Garden City, the Diocese and its member parishes throughout Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn, and Queens.

We wish to make it clear that no decisions have been made regarding how, or even whether, the Cathedral House site shall be reimagined in the future. Rest assured that the Diocese and Cathedral remain committed to being an integral part of the Village of Garden City as we move forward together in a challenging 21st century.






The Rt. Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano
Bishop of  Long Island