simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: St. Bart's
2 ... 2 ...

Monday, 4 June 2007

St. Bart's

One of the unique features about St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church at 50th Street and Park Avenue, with its signature dome and cross, is the contrast with the surrounding architecture. Click here for more photos. Although this could be said of many churches, urban and rural, the dramatic difference in scale between this landmark limestone and brick structure and the surrounding monolithic buildings on Park Ave. (such as the 570 foot GE/RCA building behind it and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to its right) draws attention immediately. This is actually the third location for the congregation - it started in 1835 in a plain church in the then-fashionable Bowery area; in 1872 their growth and funds permitted them to build a new church at Madison and 44th. Designed by James Renwick, the architect of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the building was later embellished with a triple portal by Stanford White. In 1918, they moved to the current location at 50th Street and Park Avenue. A new structure was designed by Bertram Goodhue and designed to harmonize with the Romanesque Revival triple portal entrance, which was relocated from the Madison Avenue church. Over time, the interior was decorated in the Byzantine style with major mosaics in the narthex and over the high altar. In 1981 a real estate developer offered a plan to build an office tower on the site of the adjacent community house, ensuring a financial endowment for the church. Conflict developed within the parish and between the church and the city over air rights and the landmark status of the building; the case went to the Supreme Court. In 1991, the landmark law was upheld. The church is renowned for its pipe organ, one of the largest in the world, and played by the famous conductor Leopold Stokowski. The popular and successful Café St. Bart's with its outdoor terrace can be seen here. The church provides many community services, including a public music series and summer festival, a homeless shelter and a soup kitchen ...


Post a Comment