The historic Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York City features neo-Gothic flying buttresses, beautiful stained-glass windows, and vaulted ceilings. It withstood 9/11 with little damage and has played an important role in remembrance of the event.
History of Trinity Church
The current Trinity Church is the third to stand on this site. In 1696, Governor Benjamin Fletcher approved the purchase of land in Lower Manhattan by the Anglican community for construction of the first church. The parish received its charter from King William III of England on May 6, 1697, which required an annual rent of one peppercorn to the English crown.
The Anglican church was constructed in 1698, with assistance from the pirate Captain Kidd. In 1705 Queen Anne of England increased the parish's land holdings to 215 acres.
During the Revolutionary War, the church's clergy were Loyalists, while the parishioners included members of the first and second Continental Congresses.
The first church building was destroyed in 1776 by fire, just six days after almost all the city's volunteer firemen had followed General Washington north. After British evacuation at war's end, the New York state legislature ratified the charter of Trinity Church in 1784, deleting the provision requiring loyalty to the King of England.
The now-Episcopalian congregation began to hold services at St. Paul's Chapel. George Washington attended thanksgiving services there after his inauguration.
Construction on the second Trinity Church building began in 1788; it was consecrated in 1790. The structure was torn down less than 50 years later, after being weakened by heavy snows during the winter of 1838-39.
The third and current Trinity Church was consecrated on May 21, 1846. A Gothic Revival structure designed by Richard Upjohn, its 280-foot spire was the highest in the city until the advent of the skyscraper.
The historic Episcopal church stood strong while office towers crumbled around it on September 11, 2001. However, the historic pipe organ was severely damaged by dust and debris and had to be replaced.
The gates to the historic church have served as an impromptu memorial to the victims of 9/11, with countless tokens of remembrance left by both locals and visitors alike.
In 2004, Trinity Church played an important role in the film National Treasure starring Nicolas Cage.
What to See at Trinity Church
Trinity's three huge bronze doors were designed by Richard Morris Hunt to recall Lorenzo Ghiberti's famed doors on Florence's Baptistery. The Gothic Revival interior is light and elegant, leading to a colorful wall of stained glass behind the altar.
There's a small museum at the end of the left aisle displaying historical documents (including the 1697 church charter from King William III), photographs, replicas of the Hamilton-Burr duel pistols, and other items.
Surrounding the church is a churchyard with monuments from American history including a tribute to martyrs of the American Revolution, Alexander Hamilton, Robert Fulton, and many more. Lined with benches, this makes a fine picnic spot on warm days.
Quick Facts on Trinity Church
|Styles:||Gothic Revival style|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||40.708084° N, 74.012119° W|
|Address:||Broadway and Wall Street|
New York City, New York
|Phone:||212-602-0800 (general) 212-602-0872 (tour reservations) 212-602-0747 (concert information)|
|Hours:||Church open in daylight hours.|
Museum: Mon-Fri 9-11:45am; Sun-Fri 1-3:45pm; Sat 10am-3:45pm
|Lodging:||View hotels near Trinity Church|
- Wikipedia - some text incorporated under GFDL
- Trinity Wall Street - official website of Trinity Church
- Frommer's New York City.
Map of Trinity Church, New York City
Below is a location map and aerial view of Trinity Church. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.