This is Manhattan's oldest public building still in continual use. The church dates back to 1766, George Washington worshipped there (you can see his special pew) and the graveyard is full of very early graves...read the epitaphs.,
It is also the place which offered food, rest, beds,comfort and a little peace to the hundreds of 9/11 rescuers. Given the chapel's close proximity to Ground Zero it is amazing that not even a pane of glass was shattered.
I'd have visited the place for its antiquity alone. But, post 9/11, it has become a 'must-see' for the thousands of tourists making their pilgrimage to Ground Zero. For inside the church are displays relating to its functions during that time, displays of banners and cards, police badges and photos.
It's a moving experience to read the messages.
In the churchyard is the 'Bell of Hope', given to St Paul's by the Lord Mayor of London on the first anniversary of 9/11. The bell is rung on each anniversary.
So...whether for its history or for its role post 9/11, or both, St Paul's Chapel is a must-see. Imo.
If you are downtown definitely take the time to visit Trinity Church and St. Paul's Chapel. This Wall Street parish is the oldest public building in New York, was where George Washington went to worship after his inauguration as the first President of the United States, and the site where Alexander Hamilton (the first Secretary of Treasury and image on the $10 bill) is buried. These two sites are filled with colonial history as well as more recent history from September 11th. Both are very moving. If you want more detail, check out my blog at http://uniquetoNYC.blogspot.com
Surrounded by a forest of 20th-century steel and glass, this modest stone chapel and antique churchyard look strangely out of place. You might guess it be just another of those preserved bits of the past - mostly empty, with a few plaques and a lone attendant drowsing in a corner. Far from it. Although it's the oldest public building in Manhattan, St. Paul's is very much alive and well, thanks to, some say, divine intervention and a sycamore tree.
St. Paul's was built in 1766, when the ground it stands on was a field outside of the city proper. Georgian Classic-Revival in style, the purpose was to provide a more accessible place of worship for persons living some distance away from the main parish church. During the brief time that New York served as the nation's capital, George Washington was a member - worshipping here on his inauguration day in 1789 and attending services until the capital was moved to Philadelphia in 1790. James Monroe, 5th president of the United States and third to die on July 4th, was given an impressive funeral here in 1831. Over the next 170 years, various other presidents and persons of note visited St. Paul's and by the advent of the millennium, an impressive roster of historic guests - and sheer age - were reasons enough for its prominent place in the annals. Then came 9/11...
On that horrific September morning, St Paul's - which stood in the very shadow of the WTC towers - should have not have survived the violent collapse that caused irreparable damage to other larger, stronger and much newer structures in the immediate area. Miraculously, it emerged intact - covered in a deep layer of ash, paper and other fallout but saved, they believe, by a sycamore tree that had shielded the structure from the worst of debris storm before toppling into the churchyard. Its faithful also believe it was spared for a purpose - that of ministering to a large group of individuals who were about to embark on the most challenging, heartbreaking effort anyone could imagine.
Almost immediately, clergy, congregation and countless other good samaritans swung into action and converted the sanctuary into a mission of comfort and support - both physical and spiritual - for firefighters, police personnel and other rescue and recovery workers at the WTC site. For 9 months hundreds of volunteers provided clean clothing, cots and bedding for rest between long shifts, medical care for tired and battered feet, hot meals around the clock, and compassionate hands to hold. Today, St. Paul's stands as a shining example of the worst of times bringing out the best in people, and what loving one's neighbor is truly about.
Among the many artifacts to see at the church are:
• Post 9/11 poems, letters and other memorials sent from around the world
• Cross and chalice of salvaged metal from the wreckage
• Priest's chasuble covered with patches sent in sympathy from rescue organizations world-wide
• Peace Bell, cast at the same foundry as the Liberty Bell and Big Ben, presented as a gift of the people of London
• George Washington's pew
Hours: 10 am - 6 pm M-F; 8 am - 3 pm Saturdays; 7 am - 3 pm Sundays. Donations gratefully accepted. Do take a wander in the churchyard - lots of interesting inscriptions on the oldest stones!
St Paul's church is the church that stands next to Ground Zero, and was pivotal in helping everyone on 9/11.
The master craftsman of this stunning building was Andrew Gautier. It is in the Georgian Classic-Revival style, and resembles St. Martin-in-the-Fields to a certain extent (although Saint Martin's has a higher steeple, and an underground restaurant!).
We peeked inside and couldn't do much as there was a Baptism service going on.
The next bit of info is from their site:
Quote: 'The Extraordinary Ministry of St. Paul's Chapel
September 2001-May 2002
After the attack on September 11, 2001, which led to the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, St. Paul's Chapel served as a place of rest and refuge for recovery workers at the WTC site.
For eight months, hundreds of volunteers worked 12 hour shifts around the clock, serving meals, making beds, counseling and praying with fire fighters, construction workers, police and others. Massage therapists, chiropractors, podiatrists and musicians also tended to their needs.
Today, St. Paul's continues as an active part of the Parish of Trinity Church, holding services, weekday concerts, occasional lectures, and providing a shelter for the homeless.'
I feel I cannot say it any better - they have done so much for the community, which is absolutely fabulous.
Another of the most notable buildings on Broadway, St. Paul's Chapel, part of the Parish of Trinity Church, is a small 18th century Georgian style church which is considered to be the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City. It was modelled after London's Church of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields, displaying also a portico and a slender bell tower, but in smaller scale.
Despite its significance in the early years of New York City, most of the visitors to the chapel these days are more interested in the improvised memorial banners, pictures and other paraphernalia that the people of New York spontaneously placed on the fence to the victims of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center (from which the church was miraculously spared and completely undamaged). For the contentment of the tourists, new exhibits have been added relating to the World Trade Center tragedy.
Originally a small church amidst a nice church yard which probably was mostly overlooked by businessmen and tourists, St. Paul's became sort of famous after 9/11. Despite standing directly next to the World Trade Center site, it survived the attacks without a scratch! It then served as a sort of organizational headquarters of helping hands: firemen and voluntary workers could find pastoral care here, they could sleep and rest for some time on quickly erected beds and mattresses. Desperate survivors pinned hundreds and hundreds of photos of missing persons on the fence of the church. St. Paul's became kind of a symbol - surviving in the middle of an apocalyptic catastrophe. Nowadays, there is a small exhibition about its role in the aftermath of 9/11. Apparently, a more detailed exhibition is planned: when I was there, a DVD show about the time after the attacks and what happened then in St. Paul's was just being tested.
Built in 1766, this is the only pre-Revolutionary War church remaining in NYC. George Washington came here to pray after being inaugurated as the 1st president. His personal pew is on display. The interior is lit by impressive Waterford crystal chandeliers.
Due to its proximity to the World Trade Center this was a key resting place for rescue workers after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks. It has now been converted into a memorial shrine for the victims and the rescue workers. One of the cots used by workers remains in place, still grungy but made up.
An interesting detail is in the sunburst above the altar. In two different places the Hebrew tetragrammaton, "YHWH", or Jehovah in English, was engraved .
St. Paul's is a tiny little church that miraculously survived the collapse of the World Trade Center.
Inside is a memorial to the days and months following 9/11, when the chapel served as a relief station and support center for the thousands of firemen, policemen, and volunteers. It is a very moving set of exhibits that really shows the "unwavering spirit" of all those who came from all over the world to help.
Besides St. Paul's rather sad recent history, it's got plenty more; St. Paul's Chapel is Manhattan's oldest public building in continual use, having been completed in 1766. It's also the only colonial-era church left in Manhattan. A highlight is George Washington's pew. George Washington worshiped here on Inauguration Day, April 30, 1789, and attended services at St. Paul's during the two years New York City was the US capital.
But the ancient past has given way to the very recent, and St. Paul's is now devoted almost solely to 9/11, which is certainly understandable.
St. Paul’s Chapel is a beautiful little chapel right in the heart of Manhattan and adjacent to Ground Zero. It good it’s nick name the Little Church that Stood through the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The headstones are still standing as if nothing ever happened.
On the day of my visit it was closed to the public but normally you can get in and there are artifacts from that day in our history. During the attacks it was utilized by fire fighters and police officers as a retreat during such a difficult time.
This was a parish that played a prominent role during the events of September 11th since it's located so close to Ground Zero. Many funerals were held here and many grieving hearts soothed. The interior is impressive as is the front facade which is basically one central spire. There is now a memorial to the victims and the heroes of 9/11 on permanent display.
It's also the church where George Washington prayed for the future of this country after having been inaugurated as first President.
Casablanca Hotel New York City
1 Review and 2413 Opinions This is a Hotel /Bed and Breakfast. It is a oasis in the middle of Times Square. It is quiet inside...
Library Hotel New York City
3 Reviews and 1718 Opinions The Library is a good little hotel but the frustration is it could be a great hotel. Great concept...
The French Quarters Guest Apartments New York City
1 Review and 395 Opinions The location is great, some 5 minutes fom Time Square and is situated in the street called...
see all New York City member meetings