The Church of the Holy Trinity, Manhattan



The Church of the Holy Trinity, Manhattan. Image 1

The origins of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church date back to October 23, 1898, when a new parish was established on the West Side between 77th street and 86th from Central Park to the Hudson River. The area known today as the Upper West Side was fairly well-developed by 1900, and it would take several years to purchase property for a church building, rectory and school. Father Michael J. Considine supervised the construction of the church complex, which began in 1900, and on Sunday, July 3, 1910, the cornerstone was laid for the upper church. Father Considine was determined to construct a church whose "beauty would be an inspiration to man and a tribute to God." The pastor, with architect Joseph H. McGuire, envisioned a unique church of Byzantine design, rather than the then-prevalent Gothic or Romanesque styles.

The Church of the Holy Trinity, Manhattan. Image 2

When the church was dedicated on May 11, 1912, parishioners entered a glorious building which somewhat resembles Hagia Sophia, the mother church of Eastern Christians in Istanbul. Built of brick and terra cotta, the church is further adorned with mosaics and patterned tiles, and with marble and gold leaf. Soaring 100 feet above the floor, the 66-foot-diameter dome is faced with honey-colored Guastavino tiles and features a lantern for natural illumination from the apex. Galleries are present on three sides of the interior, with the choir and organ occupying the largest gallery in the liturgical West End. Two corner towers, which originally had small copper domes (removed in 1995), frame the Byzantine facade. Eight bronze doors are surmounted by statues of St. Peter and St. John, symbolizing the meeting of West (Rome) and East (Ephesus), and above the entrance is the Trinitarian Latin phrase "Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto" (Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit), executed in twenty-two karat gold mosaic.

based on the Page at NYC AGO
Contact info:
213 West 82nd Street
New York, N.Y. 10024