Christ Church NYC
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Ralph Adams Cram, 1931

Christ Church is widely recognized as an outstanding achievement in ecclesiastical design. In 1930, then Madison Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Ralph W. Sockman, chose Ralph Adams Cram as the architect for their new church building on Park Avenue. The prolific Dr. Cram designed Christ Church in the Romanesque style which dominated Europe and the Byzantine Empire from about the 4th Century until about the 11th Century, reflecting the early, undivided Church. Dr. Cram used this design to express the richness of the Christian heritage, echoing churches like San Marco in Venice and the Palatine Chapel in Palermo.

In a manner characteristic of Byzantine design, the walls and ceilings of Christ Church are adorned with richly colored mosaics fashioned of small cubes of marble and tesserae of glass or vitreous enamel. The shimmer and depth of the gold backgrounds make the interior, like Byzantine churches, glorious pieces of ecclesiastical art. The surfaces of the nave and chapel are colored and enriched by the use of thirty-four different varieties of marble originating from Italy, France, Africa, Spain, Belgium, and America. Christ Church is unlike any other Protestant Christian church you have seen.

Saturday & Sunday Tour Info: Brian Pinter, Christ Church Education Associate, and church members will lead tours at 12 and 2pm on both days. Tours will provide descriptions of the various mosaics hidden around the church along with its history.


Image credit: David Creswell / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0