Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish

The Parish of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in 1864, an offshoot of Most Holy Trinity Church on Montrose Avenue. The first church building for the predominantly German Annunciation congregation was probably a wooden structure located on the northwest corner of Havemeyer and North Fifth Streets, where the school is now located. Rev. J. Hauptman was the first priest of the parish. The existing church, designed by Francis J. Himpler, was constructed in 1870. In 1889, Annunciation parish undertook a major expansion of its campus, for which it hired F. J. Berlenbach, Jr. as its architect. The first building in this expansion was the convent, located on the west side of Havemeyer Street just north of North 5th Street. According to the Real Estate Record and Builders Guide, the convent was built to house the Sisters of Dominic, who prior to this time were located at Graham and Montrose Avenues. In 1892, Berlenbach designed the school at the corner of Havemeyer and North 5th. Both buildings are constructed of red pressed brick. The convent is trimmed in Belleville stone (a lighter-colored sandstone from New Jersey) and terra cotta.

In 1914, the Annunciation Parish was taken over by a Lithuanian congregation and became a Lithuanian national parish, which is how it continues to operate today (although its services now include a daily mass in Spanish). The convent was converted to cooperative apartments in 1984. That project was funded by a revolving loan fund operated by the New York Landmarks Conservancy, and was completed largely with the sweat equity of the shareholders. The school building continues to operate, now as a school as a community services center. Northside Neighborhood School operates its preschool and grade school out of part of the building. The rectory (which probably dates to the mid-1870s) was converted from a one-family to a two-family residence in 2002.

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