Grace Church

Grace Church (58)

Most tourists who come to New York often visit the Trinity Church and the unmissable Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Few, however, visit Broadway to enjoy this architectural gem which is often chosen by wealthy New Yorkers and celebrities to celebrate their marriage, such as David Duchovny and Tea Leoni, for example. It is the famous Grace Church.

This neo-Gothic church was designed in 1843 by a very young James Renwick Jr, the same architect who built Saint Patrick's Cathedral itself 15 years later. Therefore, many believe that the Grace Church was a dress rehearsal for this later work. James Renwick Jr was the nephew of Henry Brevoort, a descendant of the Dutch colony, who inherited a large piece of land crucial for the development of the city.

Although the foundation stone of this church was laid in 1843, it was not consecrated until 1846, the same year that the Trinity Church was consecrated. Unlike the Gothic churches of Europe and because of the meagre budget, James Renwick Jr used wood and other materials crafted to look like stone instead of carved stone. In fact, the beautiful marble octagonal spire that crowns the church was originally made of wood and plaster.

Admire the outside, with its many sharp elements pointing to heaven and, of course, do not miss the fantastic and charming garden, which many New Yorkers love. Once inside, look at the beautiful baptismal font, designed by William Appleton Potter in 1894. It is octagonal because they were only 8 people that survived the flood: Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives; all represented in the mosaics.

And at certain hours of the morning it is bathed in coloured light which passes through the great pre-Raphaelite stained glass. For example, the east window above the altar was designed in 1878 by Clayton & Bell. Undoubtedly, it is the most beautiful of all.

The altarpiece that you can see here is exquisite. From the fiery details of its exterior to the representation of a Risen Christ flanked by the evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These mosaics are made of Italian and French stone and marble by Ellin & Kitson in 1878 according to designs by James Renwick Jr himself.

Keep walking around inside and look at the details of their bows, the work of the doors, windows, etc. You will love it. And you will love it more when you know concerts are held here of works by the great classical composers performed by the renowned Child and Adult Choir of Grace Church.

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