NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A small chapel that was a sanctuary for first responders during 9/11 has been saved by supporters, but now it may be forced to close its doors anyway.
During the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, St. Joseph’s Chapel in Battery Park City became a command center and refuge for first responders.
In the ensuing years it became a symbol of recovery, rebirth and resilience, but the economic realities of the high-end neighborhood could spell the end for the tiny Roman Catholic chapel that’s housed on the ground floor of the Gateway residential complex.
The rent more than tripled in 2014 because of the real estate rebound.
The parish has been borrowing money from the Archdiocese of New York, and it may close in June unless there’s a financial miracle.
“The parish has been negotiating with the landlord to try and see if there is a way that the rent can be reduced,” spokesman Joe Zwilling said. “We always have hope, we always believe in a miracle but I think at this point it might take a miracle in order for the parish to be able to continue to pay the rent on this chapel.”
The landlord Lefrak has offered a rent reduction, but it might not be enough.
In the meantime, loyal parishioners are waging a campaign to save the chapel.