Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Gift of Property Seized by Foreclosure

On Monday night, Ed Cross, Second Ward supervisor and pastor of the Endless Love Temple, appeared at the informal Common Council meeting seeking help and guidance in solving his predicament. He told the Council that last week his church had been "deeded" the building on Columbia Street where they had been worshiping for the past eight years. The problem is that the person or entity that gave the building to Cross's church no longer owns. It had been seized by the City of Hudson for nonpayment of taxes in April, several months before it was given to the church. Cross was seeking to work out a payment agreement with the City for the more than $30,000 owed in back taxes.


Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) explained to Cross that the law gives the former owner the right to pay off the taxes and redeem the property, but it does not allow a third party to do so. The City, said Friedman, "bends over backward to keep from taking a property," but the law is written to prevent a third party from coming in, paying the back taxes, and taking another person's property. Friedman told Cross, "If the former owner wants to redeem it, they can do so and then sell it or give it to someone else." Alderman Rick Rector (First Ward) asked Cross, "Have you talked to the previous owner about whether they are willing to redeem the property?" Cross said he had not.

Council president Claudia DeStefano advised Cross to make his case to the Finance Committee, which meets next Tuesday, July 18, at 5:30 p.m.

When the Register-Star reported two weeks ago about the Endless Love Temple and their hope to take possession of the building, Gossips was reminded of this detail from the 1926 Sanborn map, used to accompany a 2011 post exploring the possibility that an old church building was encased in the Colored Citizens Club at the corner of Columbia and Third streets, a building the City was soon to demolish. At the far left on the map below is the building Cross and his church now seek, identified as Shiloh Baptist Church.

Shiloh Baptist Church was founded in 1915, and city directories indicate that in its earliest days, the address of the church was simply "Market Place." By 1921, however, the address of the church is given as 237 Fulton Street, Fulton Street being at the time the name of Columbia Street below Third. In 1944, the city directory gives the address of Shiloh Baptist Church as 239-241 Columbia Street, but there is little doubt that it is the same building. It's likely that Shiloh Baptist Church occupied this building until 1965 when Congregation Anshe Emeth moved to its new synagogue in Greenport and sold their building on lower Warren Street, designed by Henry S. Moul, to Shiloh Baptist Church.

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