Monday, March 07, 2011

The Blue Chapel in Union City: Legends & Landmarks


From above, through the fixed levitating lens of a Google Earth satellite, the Convent of the Dominican Sisters of the Perpetual Rosary -- referred to since 1915 by West Hoboken (and now Union City) residents as the “Blue Chapel” because of its glowing bluestone masonry walls and cool-tinted stained glass memorial windows -- appears to be occupied.

The elevated grounds, perimetered by plumb pointed trap rock stone walls 15 feet in height, are seemingly maintained. Giant hedge bushels, planted ages ago in a centered convent court outlined above by roofed abbey walkways, are still finely sculpted and manicured. Old growth trees dating back to the early 1890s still forest and shroud the now-endangered architectural monument bounded by Central Avenue on the west, 13th Street on the south, Morris Street on the east and 14th and West streets on the north.

Little can that sacred satellite sense that since 2009, after nearly 120 years of Dominican Order nun occupation, the ornamental iron gates of the closed-off cloister campus have remained locked, save for the daily presence of a property caretaker.

One must be at ground level, at the 14th Street sidewalk entrance, to hear the footstepped echoes still emanating from the abandoned chambers within.
Entire article can be read here.

Shared by Sue Cifelli.

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