Trinity Church, Manhattan


Trinity Church in Manhattan. Image 1

Trinity Church (also known as Trinity Wall Street) at 79 Broadway, Lower Manhattan, is a historic, active parish church in the Diocese of New York. Trinity Church is at the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway, New York.

In 1696, Governor Benjamin Fletcher approved the purchase of land in Lower Manhattan by the Church of England community for construction of a new church. The parish received its charter from King William III of England on May 6, 1697. Its land grant specified an annual rent of sixty bushels of wheat.

The first Trinity Church building, a modest rectangular structure with a gambrel roof and small porch, was constructed in 1698. Construction on the second Trinity Church building began in 1788; it was consecrated in 1790. The structure was torn down after being weakened by severe snows during the winter of 1838–39.

Trinity Church in Manhattan. Image 3

The third and current Trinity Church was finished in 1846 and at the time of its completion its 281-foot (86 m) spire and cross was the highest point in New York until being surpassed in 1890 by the New York World Building.

In 1843, Trinity Church's expanding parish was divided due to the burgeoning cityscape and to better serve the needs of its parishioners. The newly formed parish would build Grace Church, to the north on Broadway at 10th street, while the original parish would re-build Trinity Church, the structure that stands today. Both Grace and Trinity Churches were completed and consecrated in 1846.

In 1876-1877 a reredos and altar was erected in memory of William Backhouse Astor, Sr., to the designs of architect Frederick Clarke Withers.

Trinity Church in Manhattan. Image 4

Architectural historians consider the present, 1846 Trinity Church building, designed by architect Richard Upjohn, a classic example of Gothic Revival architecture. In 1976 the United States Department of the Interior designated Trinity Church a National Historic Landmark because of its architectural significance and its place within the history of New York City.

When the Episcopal Bishop of New York consecrated Trinity Church on Ascension Day May 1, 1846, its soaring Neo-Gothic spire, surmounted by a gilded cross, dominated the skyline of lower Manhattan. Trinity was a welcoming beacon for ships sailing into New York Harbor.

On July 9, 1976 Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visited Trinity Church. Vestrymen presented her with a symbolic "back rent" of 279 peppercorns. Thereby, in 1697, King William III gave Trinity Church a charter that called for the parish to pay an annual rent of one peppercorn to the crown. Since 1993, Trinity Church has hosted the graduation ceremonies of the High School of Economics and Finance. The school is located on Trinity Place, a few blocks away from the church.

Trinity Church in Manhattan. Image 2

There are three burial grounds closely associated with Trinity Church. The first Trinity Churchyard, at Wall Street and Broadway, in which Alexander Hamilton, William Bradford, Robert Fulton, Captain James Lawrence and Albert Gallatin are buried. The second is Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum on Riverside Drive at 155th Street, formerly the location of John James Audubon's estate, in which are interred John James Audubon, Alfred Tennyson Dickens, John Jacob Astor, and Clement Clarke Moore. It is the only active cemetery remaining in the borough of Manhattan. The third is the Churchyard of St. Paul's Chapel.

Contact info:
74 Trinity Place, NY 10006