New Haven school project frustrates preservationists

The old Sacred Heart Church convent and rectory are gone, demolished as part of St. Martin de Porres Academy’s plan to give its students a safer area to play basketball and more room for people to park. The plan to raze the convent and rectory, while maintaining the 127-year-old school and the 171-year-old church, which the Archdiocese of Hartford closed in 2009, was supported by Alder Carmen Rodriguez, D-6, the Hill South Community Management Team, the since-disbanded Trowbridge Renaissance and residents of the neighborhood. Godshall said when the project came up on the City Plan Commission’s agenda in August 2019, “that was really the first time that the New Haven Preservation Trust had become aware of it.” “There could be a better process,” Radcliffe said of St. Martin de Porres’ plans. “All the parties involved would have to be on the same line. I do understand the historic trust’s focus and their priorities … and what their mission is. That doesn’t always line up with the vision and the focus of the city of New Haven.”

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