Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church: Clocktower Tour
2:30 pm
4:00 pm
2:30 pm
4:00 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.

Derek Maddalena, director of facilities, will escort you into the Sanctuary attic, six stories above the main floor, where you will get an up-close view of the church's distinctive, "building within a building" architecture. From the attic you will climb into the clock tower, where the original, 19th-century clockworks (recently restored) are still in use. Ours is one of only two tower clocks by E. Howard & Co. of Boston still in operation in New York City.

Saturday & Sunday Tour Info: Clocktower tours will last approximately 45 min.

Access Notes: Visitors to the clock tower should wear flat, preferably rubber-soled shoes. Tour includes two climbs up wooden stairs. The site allows ages 16 and older, but anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Visitors must sign release forms as well.

 

Reservations for this tour are now sold out. Interested in exploring historic clocktowers? You may also enjoy the Jefferson Market Library, which requires no reservations (but arrive early—long lines are expected)! Click on the site’s name to check out its Open Access listing.

Image credit: Porter Binks

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED