St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, Manhattan


St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, Manhattan. Image 1
In 1651, Peter Stuyvesant, Governor of New Amsterdam, purchased land for a bowery or farm from the Dutch West India Company and by 1660 built a family chapel at the present day site of St. Marks Church. Stuyvesant died in 1678 and was interred in a vault under the chapel. Stuyvesant's great-grandson, Petrus, would donate the chapel property to Episcopal Church in 1793, stipulating that a new chapel be erected and in 1795 the cornerstone of the present day St. Mark's Church was laid. The church was completed and consecrated in 1799. Alexander Hamilton would then provide legal aid in incorporating St. Mark's Church as the first Episcopal Parish independent of Trinity Church in the new world.

In 1828, the church steeple, designed by Martin E. Thomson and Ithiel Towne is erected. Soon after the two-story fieldstone Sunday School is completed. In 1838, St. Mark's Church establishes the Parish Infant School for poor children. Later, in 1861, St Mark's Church commissioned a brick addition, designed and supervised by architect James Renwick, Jr. and the St. Mark's Hospital Association is organized by members of St. Mark's. And at the start of the 20th century, leading architect Ernest Flagg designed the rectory.

St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, Manhattan. Image 2

While the 19th century saw St Mark's Church grow through its many construction projects the 20th century would be marked by community service and cultural expansion. Several Dutch dignitaries made stops by the church on their visit to the states. In 1952, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands would visit the church and lay a wreath given by her mother, Queen Wilhelmina, at the bust of Peter Stuyvesant. And later, in 1981 and 1982, Princess Margriet and Queen Beatrix, both of the Netherlands would visit.

In 1966, The Poetry Project and The Film Project (later to become the Millennium Film Workshop), were founded. And in 1975, The Danspace Project is founded by Larry Fagin; the Community Documentation Workshop under the direction of Arthur Tobler is established; and the Preservation Youth Project expands to a full-time Work Training Program and under the supervision of artisan teachers undertakes mission of the preserving St Mark's landmark exterior.

On July 27, 1978, a fire nearly destroyed St. Mark's Church. The Citizens to Save St Mark's was founded to raise funds for its reconstruction and the Preservation Youth Project undertakes the reconstruction supervised by architects Harold Edleman and craftspeople provided by preservation contractor I. Maas & Sons. The Landmark Fund emerged from the Citizens to Save St Mark's and continues to exist to help maintain and preserve St. Mark's Church for future generations. Restoration finished in 1986.

Contact info:
131 E 10th St,
New York, NY 10003