Mayor Eric Adams is weighing in on a years-long battle over whether a historical Upper West Side Church should be knocked down or preserved, The Post has learned.
A much-anticipated city Landmark Preservation Commission hearing that is scheduled for next Tuesday to discuss whether to strip the coveted status of the West-Park Presbyterian Church, has caught the eye of Hizzoner after Hollywood A-lister Mark Ruffalo personally lobbied him to help save the historic spot.
Ruffalo, along with fellow UWS thespians Amy Schumer and Matt Dillion, are helping a local nonprofit raise funds to preserve the historic yet dilapidated house of worship located at the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and West 86th Street.
But the church’s 12-member congregation argues it’ll cost too much to fix – more than $50 million – and have instead submitted a “hardship” application that would strip its landmark status so it could eventually be sold for several million dollars to developer Alchemy Properties and torn down.
The real estate company submitted plans to create a luxury condos in its place.
But Ruffalo told The Post he’s been trying to get a face-to-face meeting with Adams for weeks ahead of the LPC’s planned hearing on the topic this coming Tuesday, June 13th.
It wasn’t until the actor ran into Adams at the Tribeca Film Festival that he was able to bend the pol’s ear.
“He was surprised that they were talking about deregistering a landmark and there was the talk of a possible site visit,” Ruffalo recounted the Wednesday meeting to The Post, where Adams awarded fellow performer Robert De Niro a key to the city.
“Really what we’re asking is that the Mayor has the LPC take this off the agenda for the 13th and put the brakes on this. There’s no rush to do this!”
The actor then said he followed up with Adams’ Chief of Staff, Camille Joseph Varlack, forwarding pertinent documents – including a copy of a 2022 engineer’s report by WJE Engineers & Architects, P.C., commissioned by the arts nonprofit The Center at West Park.
Ruffalo then got a call from The Center’s lawyer notifying him that LPC general counsel Mark Silberman called to confirm they’re still planning on holding the hearing, but there’s no plan for the commission to vote on the measure.
Although several hearings have been held in the past, LPC told The Post there’s no date currently set for a vote on the property’s fate.
“Mayor Adams values input from all New Yorkers about the best ways to preserve and protect New York City’s history. The hardship process is highly technical, and we have confidence the Landmarks Preservation Commission will undertake a robust review,” a City Hall spokesperson told The Post.
But a source familiar questioned why Hizzoner is getting involved in UWS politics.
“It’s on brand in many ways that Mayor Adams would get involved in a very NIMBY situation given that it involves a lot of celebrity names,” the person said.
Shrouded by scaffolding and slapped with countless violations from the city Department of Buildings, the stunning 1980s Romanesque Revival-style church’s woes trace back decades.
City Councilwoman Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan) opposes the church and Alchemy’s bid to demolish the structure.
“It’s an asset to the community to have this building. It is not a hardship for us to raise the money – which is not as much as they think they need to keep the church as a cultural center and worship.”
She secured the site’s landmark designation over a decade ago and helped organize a rally inside the church scheduled for Saturday, June 10 at 1 p.m. to save it.