St. Nicholas of Tolentine's Church, The Bronx
The Church of St. Nicholas of Tolentine is a Roman Catholic parish church under the authority of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located at Fordham Road at University Avenue, Bronx, New York City. The substantial stone twin-towered is deemed "The Cathedral of the Bronx."
The parish was founded by Augustinian Friars on 22 April 1906 with the first mass occurring in a small garage on North Street near Jerome Avenue. Immediately from 1906 on, construction of a permanent church with parochial buildings on Andrew Avenue and Fordham Road commenced.
The complex would consist of a two-storey "combination building," a parochial school-over-church building, along with a separate rectory. Monsignor J. F. Mooney, V.G. laid the cornerstone on 15 July 1906. the church was dedicated by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Farley on 15 September 1907. In 1914, the property was valued at $135,000. By 1914, the University Avenue and Fordham Road property that the present church stands on was purchased and being prepared. The present Collegiate Gothic church structure was built 1927 to the designs of Delaney, O'Connor & Schultz. The building has been incorrectly dated by other sources to the 1950s and early 1900s.
On March 5, 2010, a suspicious two-alarm blaze filled the sanctuary with flames and smoke. "The fire started in a former confessional-turned-storage room in the vestibule of the church, blocking the main entrance." The Rev. Joseph Girone evacuated worshipers through the rectory after principal exits were blocked. Some firemen were injured from a falling plaster ceiling. FDNY Deputy Chief Kevin Scanlon called the fire "suspicious" that "accelerated rapidly it was a heavy fire that didn't have the normal flow of a fire." A string of arson attacks against Bronx churches had recently claimed the Glory of Christ Church (Parkchester, New York) in December 2009. Despite the fire, church services were resumed at the parish school's gym, adjacent to the church.
2345 University Avenue,
Bronx, NY 10468-6102