St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church

225 Jerome Street
Church: 1920-22
Supporting buildings: 1897-1956

St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church has served its community for over 150 years, during which time its campus grew to occupy almost the entire block between Atlantic and Liberty Avenues and Jerome and Warwick Streets. In 1860, a group of German immigrants received authorization from John Loughlin, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, for the construction of a Roman Catholic Church in New Lots. A wood frame structure was erected that same year, with Bishop Loughlin himself dedicating the site. Soon after, a school and rectory building was constructed next door. In 1897, a larger brick elementary school was constructed at the corner of Warwick Street and Liberty Avenue. The campus continued to expand with the enlargement of the rectory and the construction of more educational facilities on Warwick Street. By 1920, the growing parish was in need of a larger worship space, so a grand Romanesque Revival style church with an elegant bell tower was planned to take the old church’s place. The new church extended the width of the block to Warwick Avenue, where it also extended northward to accommodate a new monastery. In 1956, a high school was built at Jerome Street and Liberty Avenue. While the church originally served a German congregation, its demographics shifted over the years to serve Irish, Polish and Italians, and later African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Mexicans. Today, its congregation is predominately Spanish-speaking. In 2006, the church merged with St. Malachy Roman Catholic Church, a historically Irish parish in East New York, to form the new parish of St. Michael-St. Malachy.