Monastery and Church of Saint Michael the Archangel

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Monastery and Church of Saint Michael the Archangel
Monastery and Church of Saint Michael the Archangel is located in Hudson County, New Jersey
Monastery and Church of Saint Michael the Archangel
Monastery and Church of Saint Michael the Archangel is located in New Jersey
Monastery and Church of Saint Michael the Archangel
Monastery and Church of Saint Michael the Archangel is located in the US
Monastery and Church of Saint Michael the Archangel
Location West Street
Union City, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°45′56″N 74°2′14″W / 40.76556°N 74.03722°W / 40.76556; -74.03722Coordinates: 40°45′56″N 74°2′14″W / 40.76556°N 74.03722°W / 40.76556; -74.03722
Area 13 acres (5.3 ha)
Built 1875
Architect Keely,Patrick C.; Et al.
Architectural style Second Empire, Italianate
NRHP reference # 86000418[1]
NJRHP # 1547[2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP March 6, 1986
Designated NJRHP January 28, 1986

The Monastery and Church of Saint Michael the Archangel is a state and national historic place in Union City, Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. Formally opened in 1869 and completed in 1875, the grounds of the complex are bounded West Street and Summit Avenue between 18th and 21st Streets. The small street leading to its front entrance from the east is called Monastery Place. At one time the largest Roman Catholic church in Hudson County, it has since become home to a Presbyterian congregation while part of the grounds are used for housing and education.


In 1861, Passionists began their ministry in Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, and by 1864 had built a monastery in what was then West Hoboken, on a site bounded by West Street and Summit Avenue, between 18th and 21st Streets.[3][4] and now southern half of Union City. The land for the 12.3 acre site[5] was donated by J. Kerrigan, the owner of Kerrigan Farm, and the namesake of Kerrigan Avenue.[6] The domed church's cornerstone was laid in 1869,[7] and it was completed in 1875, and additions to the complex were made in 1914, 1929, and 1944.[4] In 1876, the relics of Saint Benedict were enshrined near the main altar.[8] At one time, the church was the largest Roman Catholic house of worship in Hudson County.[9] The church itself was damaged and rebuilt after a 1934 fire.[10] Due to lack of finances, the entire complex was closed in 1981, and Saint Michael's Parish merged with nearby Saint Joseph's Parish, whose school and church were on the corner of Central Avenue at 14th Street, becoming Saint Joseph and Michael's Parish. In 1986, the complex was placed on both state and national registers of historic places.[1][2] In the same year records for St. Michael's and other nearby parishes were microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah.[11] A fire on August 14, 1994 destroyed a large portion of the monastery building, though the church survived.[citation needed]

The monastery and church were later purchased by a Korean Presbyterian congregation from Palisades Park, and renamed Hudson Presbyterian Church[12] The surrounding park grounds, which had been used in the past for sports activities by citizens, were sold. The southern portion along 18th Street is now occupied by two condominium buildings and a low-to-moderate income housing complex that replaced the portion of the monastery destroyed by fire in 1994. In 2002 José Martí Middle School (now José Martí Freshman Academy) and the southern branch of the Union City Public Library were built grounds of the Monastery site, between 18th and 21st Street and Summit Avenue. They opened in 2004.[13][14]

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  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Hudson County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. July 7, 2009. p. 7. Retrieved February 28, 2010. 
  3. ^ "A New Monastery at West Hoboken. THE BUILDING AND ITS PURPOSES WHO ARE TO CONTROL IT, ETC". The New York Times. September 15, 1864. 
  4. ^ a b St. Michael's Monastery, Union City, New Jersey, Passionist Historical Archives, 1975, Accessed November 17, 2010
  5. ^ De Palma, Anthony (January 29, 1984). "Dispute over Monastery Persists". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  6. ^ Business Directory Of North Hudson, North Hudson Hospital Association, Town of Union, N.J. 1905. p 331
  7. ^ Fernandez, Lucio (2010). Union City in Pictures. p 14.
  8. ^ "St. Benedict's Remains". The New York Times. May 15, 1876. 
  9. ^ Union City 2000 Calendar; 2000; culled from History of West Hoboken and Union Hill by Ella-Mary Ryman; 1965 and "The Historical Background of Union City" by Daniel A. Primont, William G. Fiedler and Fred Zuccaro; 1964
  10. ^ Union City, New Jersey: Historical Summary, Passionists Archives, Accessed November 17, 2010.
  11. ^ "St Michael Monastery". Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  12. ^ Staab, Amanda (March 1, 2009). "A Saint from UC" The Union City Reporter. pp 1 and 8
  13. ^ "Union City (Hudson Co.): Jose Marti M.S.". State of New Jersey Schools Development Authority. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  14. ^ "Library Information". Union City Public Library. Retrieved January 21, 2016.

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