Churches and Cathedrals of Manhattan, New York City - 4
Personal notes and information gleaned following a visit October 2003, and features only the churches which I discovered during my seven days in New York. The churches face in all sorts of directions, the descriptions that follow therefore have ritual directions which assumes the high altar is at the east end of the building. The churches are all Roman Catholic, unless otherwise mentioned, and are featured in the order I visited them.
Cathedral of St Sava (Serbian Orthodox) ( W25th St)
|1852-55 by Richard Upjohn, built originally
as a chapel of ease to Trinity church, Wall Street.
Called "Trinity Chapel", its future was already
under threat in 1915. However it was to be another 27
years before the church was sold to the Orthodox church,
November 1942. It was reconsecrated in 1944. A bomb
explosion in 1973 (which targetted the Communist Party's
HQ on W26th St) destroyed the original stained glass in
the apse which enabled the congregation to insert windows
to Orthodox saints. A carved oak iconostasis was inserted
in 1961, and icons painted up to 1968.
First Presbyterian Church (5th Ave, W11 & 12th Sts)
|First Presbyterian Church was founded in
1716, and opened their first building on Wall Street in
1719. It was closed for seven years during the
Revolution, the church beng used as a barracks by the
British. When the congregation returned they found their
church in ruins. For some years they used a chapel of
Trinity church for worship until their new church was
opened in 1811. Destroyed again by a fire, rebuilt again
only to be destroyed in the 1835 Great Fire of New York.
The area was rebuilt for Commerce and the church bought a
new plot on 5th Avenue in the village of Greenwich.
Ascension (Episcopal) (5th Avenue, W10th St)
|The church was founded at Canal Street and
was consecrated in 1829. It was destroyed by fire in
1839. Quickly the decision was made to rebuild on a new
site, the current one in 5th Ave. The foundation stone
was laid in 1840 and the church opened in November 1841.
The architect was Richard Upjohn, this being one of his
first churches. The interior (not seen) was remodelled by
Stanford White of McKim, Mead & White 1885-89 when
the side galleries were removed. Large mural by John La
Farge of the Ascension installed at the same time.
The church is not usually open, in complete contrast to the period from 1929 to 1966 when the main doors were never locked! It is opened for an hour at midday, and again in the early evening for an hour.
|Ascension and First Presbyterian on Fifth Avenue.|
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page updated 27th March 2005