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St. Gabriel’s Chapel has been demolished

KATHRYN O’HAGAN PHOTO The last of St. Gabriel’s Chapel caught by Kathryn O’Hagan during demolition this week after her efforts to raise money to relocate the structure failed.

KATHRYN O’HAGAN PHOTO
The last of St. Gabriel’s Chapel caught by Kathryn O’Hagan during demolition this week after her efforts to raise money to relocate the structure failed.

Gone, but not forgotten.
St. Gabriel’s Chapel was demolished this week after the removal of stained glass windows, many of which are to be incorporated into the new clubhouse to be built on the site of the Pandion development. The rest are to be offered to the Shelter Island Historical Society for its collection.

“It breaks my heart,” said Kathryn O’Hagan, who led the effort to raise funds to move the building after it was learned that it wouldn’t be kept somewhere on the site.

“The old wooden landmark now rests in a dumpster,” Ms. O’Hagan said in an email to the Reporter Thursday night.

The chapel was built in 1938 and was a building revered by many Islanders as well as members of the Passionist Fathers, who previously owned the site before selling it to Richard Hogan.

Mr. Hogan’s initial plans were to retain the deconsecrated chapel and move it to another part of the property, where it would provide a basic structure for the clubhouse.

But he had the building inspected by a firm that determined it was too aged and infirm for the move. His attorney, William Fleming, told the Planning Board last March that it would have to be demolished.

An inspection by Town Engineer John Cronin a month later pronounced the building in good enough shape to be moved, but efforts to move it ran into two roadblocks.

The first was raising enough money, estimated to be about $100,000, to move the structure. The second was complaints from Ginny Drive residents, many of whom have young children. They feared relocating the building to a lot owned by Ms. O’Hagan’s husband, Dave Klenawicus, would increase traffic on the street.

As boards considering various aspects of the Pandion development acted to move that project forward, it became obvious that the chapel’s days were limited.

A full story will appear in the October 13 Reporter.

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