Pressure Grows to Landmark Threatened Our Lady of Guadalupe, City’s First Spanish Church, During Hispanic Heritage Month
This Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15), we’re amping up our campaign to get the city to landmark and protect the endangered Our Lady of Guadalupe Church at 229-31 West 14th Street, the city’s first church for a Spanish-speaking congregation, founded in 1902. While Hispanics were then a relatively tiny immigrant group in our city, they have since grown to over 30% of its population — the city’s largest minority group. But less than a handful of our city’s 40,000 designated landmarks reflect their history or heritage. That has to change!
And Our Lady of Guadalupe, as the grandparent of all our city’s Spanish churches and a cornerstone of our city’s Hispanic history and heritage, is the place to start. The building is imminently threatened as the archdiocese has relegated the property and announced its intention to sell. Elected officials, Hispanic history and heritage scholars, the local community board, and preservation organizations across the city and state have supported our landmarking effort. Recent coverage in AMNY and on Channel 11 News builds upon prior coverage in The New York Times about the effort and its significance. But so far, the city has clung to its specious claims about the site lacking significance or integrity, even as experts have expressed their profound disagreement.
We must ensure the city knows how critical it is this Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize and protect landmarks like these.
Please send letters to city officials; if you already have, please share the below link with friends, family, and neighbors, and ask them to do the same.