Standing Against All Odds
St. Paul's Chapel has withstood adversity throughout its many years. On September 21, 1776, ten years after the Chapel opened, a raging fire swept through Lower Manhattan, destroying a quarter of the city, including Trinity Church (St. Paul's parish home). The community saved St. Paul's by forming a bucket brigade and dousing the Chapel with water. With Trinity in ruins, St. Paul's became the primary church until 1790.
225 years later, another tragedy struck on September 11, 2001. The collapse of the World Trade Center buildings across the street from St. Paul's left Lower Manhattan and St. Paul's churchyard littered with debris. Miraculously there was no physical damage to the Chapel itself. For nine months after the attacks, St. Paul's offered Ground Zero recovery workers a place to rest, eat, and receive medical care. On November 3, 2003, more than two years later, the churchyard reopened to the public.