Volume 75, Number 12 | August 10 - 16, 2005

Seminary looking up, too, with tower

General Theological Seminary is considering a mixed-use residential project to be built by the Brodsky Organization to replace the four-story Sherrill Hall on the Ninth Ave. front of the campus.

The project would have apartments on an as-yet-undetermined number of upper floors with the library and offices for the seminary on the first three or four stories.

“We have entered a contract with the Brodsky Organization for a mixed-use building on Ninth Ave. and we’re exploring the possibilities,” said Maureen Burnley, executive director of the seminary.

The seminary intends to present its case for development at a meeting with block associations adjacent to the campus sometime during the last two weeks in August and the first week in September, Burnley said.

The meeting invitation says the seminary anticipates the Ninth Ave. project to be contextual with existing buildings on Ninth Ave., with the number of floors not yet determined. But anxious neighbors point to a 15-story apartment tower on the east side of Ninth Ave. at 20th St. built before the Chelsea Historic District was designated. They fear the seminary project would be that tall.

Sherrill Hall, built in the early 1960s and planned for six stories, was completed as a four-story building because the seminary ran out of money, Burnley said. The building is in bad condition and has to be replaced, she said, adding that the seminary is faced with mounting maintenances costs and an endowment that shrank from $50 million 10 years ago to $30 million this year.

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