A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 05, 2008
Harlem’s Cathedral (St. Charles Borromeo Church)

St. Charles Borromeo Church in Harlem (213 West 141st Street) was completed in 1904. Its Gothic structure has caused many to call it “Harlem’s cathedral” or “the cathedral of Harlem.”


Church of St. Charles Barromeo (Harlem, NY)
A RICH HISTORY
The history of St. Charles Borromeo is integrally bound to the social and cultural changes in the Harlem Community. The anticipated development of the land north of 135th Street motivated Archbishop Michael Corrigan to establish the parish. It began with the offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass by the first pastor, Rev. Dr. Charles O’Keefe, in a storefront at 2660 Eighth Avenue on January 29, 1888.

By November 4, the feast of its patron saint, the first church was built on the south side of 141st Street. When the property was later sold, the church building was moved across the street. The present Gothic structure often referred to as “The Cathedral of Harlem”, was completed in 1904. The school staffed by the Sisters of Charity was opened that year in the old church. In 1915, Monsignor Francis H. Wall invited the La Salle Christian Brothers to teach the older boys.

8 July 1968, New York (NY) Times, “Salmon, New Harlem Pastor, Bids Negroes Give Mutual Aid” by Paul Hoffman, pg., 22:
Preaching in a Harlem church that once barred black people, the first Negro pastor in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York called on a nearly all-black congregation yesterday to “seek reconciliation with your brother.”

The Rev. Harold A. Salmon, the new pastor of St. Charles Borromeo’s, 213 West 141st Street, urged “support of one another that will bring about self-determination, pride, self-respect and control of one’s identity.”

Mutual support, Father Salmon told the parishioners of what is popularly known as “the cathedral of Harlem,” would enable all “to live in an open society where people can make free choices.”

7online.com (August 4, 2008)
Monsignor Wallace Harris, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Harlem
Associated Press - Eyewitness News
HARLEM (AP) -—A longtime Harlem pastor who helped organize Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to New York and gave the invocation at Gov. David Paterson’s inauguration has stepped aside following allegations he sexually abused a minor.
(...)
The church is often referred to as the “cathedral of Harlem” because of its Gothic structure. Pope John Paul II visited the church in 1979.

New York (NY) Times
In Harlem, Shock and Anger at Pastor’s Removal
By PAUL VITELLO
Published: August 5, 2008
It may not be the most heavily attended church in the area, but the imposing Roman Catholic church on 141st Street, St. Charles Borromeo, known locally as Harlem’s Cathedral, has become known in recent years for such stirring triumphs and humbling lows that some people see it as a kind of tragic, if not bipolar, character residing in the neighborhood.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • (0) Comments • Tuesday, August 05, 2008 • Permalink