On St. Patrick's Day, a vigil for the former St. Patrick's Churc - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

On St. Patrick's Day, a vigil for the former St. Patrick's Church


By: Steve Flamsich

WATERVLIET , N.Y. - The group that is trying to save the former St. Patrick's Church from the wrecking ball held a candlelight vigil on St. Patrick's Day.

Eileen Anderson, a co-chair of Citizens for St. Patrick's, was among the approximately 30 people in attendance. For Anderson -- an English immigrant whose mother and grandmother were Irish -- the fight to save the iconic building hits close to home.

"I can relate to roots," Anderson said. "I can relate to heritage. I'm just sad that so many people don't appreciate that."

Nigro Companies is planning to knock down the former church, the rectory, and the school in order to build a new Price Chopper supermarket on the property. But where Anderson and her fellow activists see the loss of one of the city's most visible landmarks, others see a new 40,000-square-foot supermarket and chance for economic development.

"Out with the old, in with the new," Alan Galuski, whose wife grew up a block from the former church, told FOX23 News. "I can sympathize with them, but I'd say you have to get on with things here now."

Citizens for St. Patrick's has endured several legal setbacks. Its attorney was preparing to file papers in state Supreme Court on Monday appealing the decision to grant a demolition permit to Nigro. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the wrecking ball may hit as early as the first week of April.

The attorney representing Nigro was not reachable for comment Sunday. A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany did not return a phone call.

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