Status: On-going Concern
2/2009 – Since May 2008, the Archdiocese of Newark has made great strides in mothballing Sacred Heart Church. Most recently, they have completed exterior re-pointing to eliminate water infiltration. Late last year, a preliminary proposal that would rehabilitate the building into a community facility was released. Future plans for the building remain in discussion.
07/2010 Update: The church remains empty and it is unclear what its future holds. No progress has been made.
Sacred Heart was the work of architect Ralph Adams Cram. Some of Crams other works include the Princeton Chapel, the Los Angeles County Public Library and the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. This massive granite church, built by the Archdiocese
of Newark from 1922-1924 was staffed by Dominican Order of Preachers. Standing on the northeast corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Bidwell Avenue in the Greenville area of Jersey City, its entrance façade is surmounted by a magnificent rose window. Sacred Heart boasts a majestic high nave lined with towering double and triple lancet windows and an extraordinary collection of stained glass windows, including a remarkable two-story high group designed by master artist Harry Wright Goodhue.
Once a parish with over 4000 parishioners, mostly immigrants and their offspring, Closed in 2006 and now deteriating, the structure is a potential target for vandals, it epitomizes the plight of urban houses of worship whose congregations have dwindled.
The Archdiocese is aggressively trying to find appropriate uses that will both preserve and adaptively reuse this important place of worship. The site includes a school as well as a parish center complete with banquet hall and gym. These structures in conjunction with the church building offer Jersey City community-minded opportunities and more. PNJ encourages the Archdiocese to continue to work with the Greenville neighborhood and preservation groups nation wide, to find a future use for Sacred Heart that is worthy of this masterpiece.