Idol Chatter

Well, not the Methodist Church, but the “Inside Man” star is said to have bought an apartment in a historic Methodist church near Washington Square Park in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. A realty company is converting it into a luxury condiminium project called the Novare. I’m assuming it was not the developer’s classy tagline for the place—“Come to Be Reborn”—but the 23 foot ceilings that attracted Denzel.

Even a jaded Gothamite wouldn’t be stripped of his Balducci’s shopping card for finding the conversion of a house of worship into exclusive condos a little tacky. New York Episcopalians still shudder when they pass the former Church of the Holy Communion at Sixth Avenue and West 20th Street, which was sold with the understanding the landmark building would be a drug rehabilitation center; shortly after it became the Limelight disco, which was reknowned for being, well, the opposite of a drug rehabilitation center.

The checkered past of Denzel’s new residence—formally the Washington Park Methodist Church from its founding in 1860 until last year—cranks up the irony further: During the upheavals of the 1960s, the “Peace Church” served as a meeting and performance hall for Vietnam War protesters, folk singers and social action groups, including the Black Panthers.

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