Metro moved to its current location in 1984. Metro members were walking up 40th St early one morning, having spent the night before volunteering around the corner at Covenant House. As they walked past the seemingly abandoned building and the people assembled on the steps they say it dawned like a lightbulb, “What a great place for a church!”
Built at the turn of the 20th Century, our building originally housed St. Clemens Polish-Catholic Church. Like other churches built in Hell's Kitchen at that time, the church served a largely immigrant population living in the neighborhood's many tenement buildings. A grand and ornate structure, the building originally functioned as both a church and a parochial school. So broad was its use that the Cardinal who blessed the church’s opening praised it for its “practicability."
After construction of the Lincoln Tunnel led to the relocation of many of the church’s parishioners, the Diocese eventually closed the doors of St. Clemens church and its school in 1971. Before it became our home, the church building served as a rec facility (complete with basketball hoop in the sanctuary) and home of the Daytop Center for men recovering from addiction.
These days the church building maintains many of its beautiful historic features, as well as its "practicability" and broad range of uses. The sanctuary still has the ceiling murals and windows of its Polish-Catholic origin. It is a beautiful space for worship and celebration, but also a functional space for education, performance, rehearsal, and more.
Metro's building is made available periodically for weddings, events, and performances. See below for details.