St. Paul's Chapel, Manhattan



St. Paul's Chapel, Manhattan. Photo 1

St. Paul's Chapel, is an Episcopal chapel located at 209 Broadway, between Fulton and Vesey Streets, in lower Manhattan in New York City. It is the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan. A chapel of the Parish of Trinity Church, St. Paul's was built on land granted by Queen Anne of Great Britain, and Andrew Gautier served as the master craftsman. Upon completion in 1766, it stood in a field some distance from the growing port city to the south. It was built as a "chapel-of-ease" for parishioners who lived far from the Mother Church.
Built of Manhattan mica-schist with brownstone quoins, St. Paul's has the classical portico, boxy proportions and domestic details that are characteristic of Georgian churches such as James Gibbs' London church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, after which it was modelled. Its octagonal tower rises from a square base and is topped by a replica of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates (c. 335 BC).

St. Paul's Chapel, Manhattan. Photo 2

Inside, the chapel's simple elegant hall has the pale colors, flat ceiling and cut glass chandeliers reminiscent of contemporary domestic interiors. In contrast to the awe-inspiring interior of Trinity Church, this hall and its ample gallery were endowed with a cozy and comfortable character in order to encourage attendance.
On the Broadway side of the chapel's exterior is an oak statue of the church's namesake, Saint Paul, carved in the American Primitive style. Below the east window is the monument to Brigadier General Richard Montgomery, who died at the Battle of Quebec (1775) during the American Revolutionary War. In the spire, the first bell is inscribed "Mears London, Fecit [Made] 1797." The second bell, made in 1866, was added in celebration of the chapel's 100th anniversary.
The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960, in part because it is the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City. The chapel survived the Great New York City Fire of 1776 when a quarter of New York City (then the area around Wall Street) burned following the British capture of the city in the Battle of Long Island in the American Revolutionary War.

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Contact info:
209 Broadway,
New York, NY 10007-2977