The Byzantine Empire endured for 1000 years, leaving artistic examples of medieval architecture throughout the MiddleEast.
Those buildings are prized for their complexity, often in brick with stone columns, classical orders, huge arches and domes and mosaic tiles for decoration.
One of the best surviving examples is the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, once a Greek Church, later a mosque and now a museum.
But did you know we don’t have to travel to Turkey to experience splendor such as this?
It’s right here in the Bronx,
at 685 Tinton Avenue in Mott Haven.
St. Anselm’s Church, built in 1918 and falling down.
Adorned with arches and typical tile mosaic...
and with classical colonnades,
...this poor building has been the subject of both neglect and very clumsy restoration.
According to the New York Times exterior cracks have been caulked with the wrong stuff, quickening the failure of crucial brick mortar.
Even more sad, a former pastor has been charged with repainting over a priceless but deteriorating mural inside.
NYC raised $175 million to refurbish St. Patrick’s.
St. Anselm needs just 2.5% of that and still has not found it.
“This building is a treasure,” said Ann Friedman, who runs the Landmark Conservancy’s Sacred Sites program.
It’s cool. You should go.
And if you do feel free to point.