Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church
12:30 pm - 5:00 pm
12:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Carl Pfeiffer, 1875

Step inside one of New York's last remaining Gilded Age treasures. Completed in 1875, the church predates the nearby St. Patrick's Cathedral (1878) and Plaza Hotel (1907). The stunning ceiling of this Victorian Gothic masterwork rises six stories above the floor. The 1,800-seat Sanctuary contains no iconography (in keeping with early Presbyterian austerity) and no right angles; the curvature of the balcony and pews draws all eyes to the impressive pulpit. The organ case, covered in golden pipes, rises three stories.

Extensive, handcarved woodwork (Kimbel & Cabus of New York) and resplendent stained glass windows (John C. Spence of Montreal) are original. The windows are a rarity, representative of the brief Aeshetic Movement that pre-dated the Tiffany period. A mosaic by the renowned WPA-era artist Eugene Savage graces the entrance. Rare innovations include a 19th-century heating and air conditioning system. Beyond the Sanctuary, visitors can tour the art gallery and permanent historical exhibit. Beyond the Gallery is Kirkland Chapel (1925, James Gamble Rogers, architect), which features a fully restored stained glass window of Christ and the Archangels by G. Owen Bonawit (Art Deco style).

Trained docents will be available to guide visitors through the Sanctuary (1875), Chapel (1925) and Gallery to learn about the history of this 209-year-old congregation, the Victorian Gothic architecture, and the mix of stained glass windows from the Aesthetic Movement and the Art Deco periods.

Saturday & Sunday Tour Info: Tours with church docents will be offered on an ongoing basis, every 15-30 minutes throughout both days.

Access Notes: Wheelchair entry is at 7 W. 55th St.


Image Credit: Porter Binks