St. Paul's Chapel

St. Paul's Chapel (HMDBX)

Location: New York, NY 10007 New York County
Country: United States of America

N 40° 42.678', W 74° 0.532'

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Exploring Downtown

Manhattan's only pre-Revolutionary church building has a remarkable history stretching from George Washington's inauguration to the attack of September 11th. Built in the 1760s, on what was then the outskirts of town, St. Paul's originally served residents of the hinterland as a chapel of Wall Street's Trinity Church. Designed in the English Georgian style (named for King George the First, Second and Third), St. Paul's was one of dozens of churches throughout the British Empire modeled after St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London's Trafalgar Square.

The columned entrance porch on Broadway leads, surprisingly, directly into the altar-end of the church instead of the rear of the sanctuary - the main entrance is through the Colonial-era churchyard to the west. The white, wooden interior has changed little from George Washington's days. The President was a regular during his first years in office, when New York was the nation's capital, and his pew survives, carefully preserved and roped off on the side.

St. Paul's developed a reputation as Downtown's most peaceful oasis - a role suddenly transformed by the collapse of the World Trade Center, directly across Church Street. Within a month of the disaster, St. Paul's had organized a massive relief effort. From October 2001 through June 2002, volunteers from all over the country provided recovery workers with food, cots and teddy bears, while chaplains offered comfort and moral support. Thousands of visitors to the Chapel turned its wrought-iron fence into an impromptu memorial covered with posters, flags, letters and more.

Despite St. Paul's unexpected role in the wake of the tragedy, life at the Chapel goes on. Besides holding regular religious services, St. Paul's continues to operate a transition shelter for homeless men run by Trinity Church volunteers, and to host weekly noonday concerts open to the public, a tradition since 1968.
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HM NumberHMDBX
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Placed ByThe Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 1:09am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 583719 N 4507181
Decimal Degrees40.71130000, -74.00886667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 42.678', W 74° 0.532'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 42' 40.68" N, 74° 0' 31.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)212, 917, 646, 718, 347
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 209 Broadway, New York NY 10007, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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