815 Second Avenue ordered to put out “For Sale” sign

By Mary Ann Mueller
Special Correspondent
July 6, 2012

In an unexpected cost cutting move the House of Deputies passed Resolution D016 ordering the sale of The Episcopal Church headquarters building in New York.

Affectionately known throughout The Episcopal Church as “815”, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s corporate location is 815 Second Avenue in New York City, just a block behind the United Nations.

When the HOD finally approved D016 late Friday afternoon it was passed without a deadline for the actual sale of the Manhattan Island structure.

Originally the Resolution came out of the Committee on Structure Friday morning with the mandate to sell the church headquarters building before the 2015 General Convention is convened in Salt Lake City.

Now the tweaked version simply reads: “Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring – That it is the will of this Convention to move the Church Center headquarters away from the Church Center building at 815 2nd Avenue, New York City. Accordingly, the General Convention directs the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church to sell the Church Center Building at 815 Second Avenue, New York City.”

All references to time “…prior to the 78th General Convention and to report to that Convention on the sale,” were stripped by the House of Deputies.

The next stop for D016 is the House of Bishops. The bishops have several options. They can pass the Resolution as presented to them, or put the teeth back into D016 by reinserting a timeframe, or scuttle the Resolution altogether and go back to the drawing board.

TEC financial figures show that it costs more than $11 million a year to be backyard neighbors to the UN.

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline.

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