High rent may doom Catholic chapel that survived 9/11

NEW YORK — A Roman Catholic chapel that sheltered 9/11 first responders after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks may fall victim itself to the prosperity of its New York City neighborhood.

Parishioners are praying for a miracle to save St. Joseph’s Chapel that was used as a command center after the attacks. Rescue workers slept on its floors. Priests celebrated Mass in a tent outside.

But the chapel’s rent spiked to $264,000 a year in 2014 as the area became crowded with high-end stores and luxury apartments. It’s now living on archdiocese subsidies.

A spokeswoman for the developers who own the building say the landlords have offered “a significant reduction in rent.”

But parishioners say the rent reduction isn’t nearly enough and they fear the chapel will close.