Mariano Rivera, the famous Yankees pitcher and also a noted New Rochelle business owner, will restore the historic North Avenue Presbyterian Church to house his own congregation.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Rivera pledged to back his church’s $3 million renovation of the North Avenue Church, a decrepit but historic structure dating to 1907.
The city currently owns the church and will sell it for $1. Rivera, along with New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, reassured the community that the renovation will not cost taxpayers.
As we previously reported, Rivera’s church, Refugio de Esperanza of Purchase, which has been meeting in Rivera’s home, has been looking for a permanent home. Rivera said he envisions the church as a community hub that will offer a range of programs, especially those geared toward helping kids.
For years, the North Avenue Presbyterian Church housed the largest congregation in the community and served as a community anchor for a variety of services, such as marriages, funerals and even baptisms for much of the 20th Century.
Although, the church served New Rochelle for many generations, people have questioned what could be done with the deteriorated Gothic revival structure.
But Rivera, a strong believer in helping the community, said once he saw the church he “fell in love with it.” he is said to be holding church services in his Purchase home at the present time.
Construction on the North Avenue Church will begin in the next two weeks.