“Here — at this final hour, in this quiet place — Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes — extinguished now, and gone from us forever,” the actor Ossie Davis said on Feb. 27, 1965, over the coffin of Malcolm X, a transcendent lightning rod among African-American leaders who had been assassinated by gunmen six days earlier.
Now the hour has come to bid farewell to the place itself: the Childs Memorial Temple Church of God in Christ, originally the Bluebird Theater, on Amsterdam Avenue near West 147th Street. It is, indeed, quiet.
The congregation has moved its services to a storefront space at 500 West 148th Street. There are no longer any pews in the 600-seat auditorium. The chandeliers under which Mr. Davis spoke have been removed for safekeeping.
Darnelle Watts, who identified himself as a minister of the church when we met last week, said the future held demolition and then construction of a 10-story apartment building at the north end of the 125-foot-long site.