Mormons move in to Downtown
Three Mormon congregations have moved into the former St. Zitas Womens Residence at 144 W. 15th St. The Mormons, officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, have also acquired the adjacent St. Zitas Convent at 143 W. 14th St., for church offices.
The three congregations include the Union Sq. First Ward, serving young couples and families in the neighborhood, including a teen center and a Boy Scout troop; the Union Sq. Second Branch, offering church services in American Sign Language; and the Union Sq. Third Ward, serving young singles.
The five floors of the 15th St. building, with 20,000 sq. ft., have been renovated with offices, classrooms, kitchen and recreational facilities, a fourth-floor chapel seating approximately 200 and an elevator making the building wheelchair accessible.
The church acquired the two buildings because its crowded Lincoln Sq. temple served eight congregations and is undergoing renovation, said David Marriott, bishop of the Union Sq First Ward. All Mormon congregation leaders are bishops and all adult males are elders in the church. Marriott, no relation to the hotel chain family, is a lawyer with Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
The Mormon Church has recently moved into a new center in the former Bulova Watch plant in Woodside, Queens, and has also begun renovating quarters for chapels in Harlem and on E. 87th St.