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There are plenty of ways to describe New York City's high-end real estate market ("wildly out of reach" may come to mind), but one thing is for sure--there's definitely no harm in browsing the stunning listings, particularly if stained-glass accents and vaulted ceilings are high on your house-hunting "must" list.
InStyle tapped real estate listings site StreetEasy to dig into the latest luxury housing craze: condominiums that have been transformed from their holy beginnings as churches. Like many of the Big Apple's sights and happenings, each of these architectural abodes has a rich history. While the backstories range from churches that were pulled out of disrepair to prep schools that housed a budding religious leader, the common theme is that they're all re-imagined and move-in ready. Scroll down to see five of the most jaw-dropping renovations and get the details on the features that pay homage to these condos' heavenly pasts. Excuse us while we mentally unpack all of our belongings.
Click here to learn more about each area through StreetEasy's new Neighborhood Guides.
1. The Five-Bedroom Triplex on the Upper West Side
Formerly a chapel at the New York Cancer Hospital, this French Chateau-style space is now a five-bedroom triplex featuring stained glass windows, arched galleries, and vaulted ceilings. It was first renovated in 1887, but most recently sold in 2012 for an $8.07 million price tag.
2. The Airy Brooklyn Loft
541 Leonard Street in Greenpoint (currently on the market for $2.95 million) was constructed in 1930 as a Pentecostal church. Since being turned into open-concept, loft-style condos in 2013, many of the original church details (think exterior spires and exposed wooden beams) remain. But there are plenty of modern amenities incorporated into the old-world charm—each residence is accessible via a private keyed elevator.
3. The Clinton Hill Cathedral
When you move into this 53-unit residence that was originally built for the Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception, you can expect that no expense has been spared on the stunning views and marble arches. A quiet courtyard sets this structure apart from the bustle of Clinton Hill's Washington Avenue. Little-known fact: Football coach Vince Lombardi once studied in the seminary before going on to pursue an athletic career. His dorm style now comes with a price tag of $795,000.
4. The Stunning Williamsburg Rental
You don't have to be in the buyers' market to stand a chance at moving into this no-fee, $5,500 per month, two-bedroom rental in Williamsburg. The former site of St. Vincent de Paul Church, the building was purchased and revamped in 2011 after reaching a state of despair—a tree had grown inside the bell tower.
5. The Carroll Gardens Congregational Church
This building may be all "Romanesque Revival" on the outside, but the amenities are nothing short of modern on the inside. Currently under contract for $699,000, this unit in the South Congregational Church Complex at 360 Court Street in Brooklyn features walk-in closets, a former choir-loft that has been converted into extra storage, and stained-glass windows that actually open up to let fresh air in.