By Carter B. Horsley
This very elegant Georgian-style church was
built in 1938 and designed by Lewis Ayres of York & Sawyer
and it includes the bell and weather vane from its original structure
at Beekman and Park Row that opened in Lower Manhattan in 1769
when it was known as the New Church.
The church moved to Fifth Avenue and 37th Street
The church has a community house and school
on 92nd Street between Park and Madison Avenues. In 1952, it added
the Chapel of the Reformed Faith, designed by Adams & Woodbridge.
This church is related stylistically to the
earlier All Souls Unitarian Church on the southeast corner of
Lexington Avenue and 80th Street designed by Hobart Upjohn and
completed in 1932.
In their excellent book, "New York 1930,
Architecture and Urbanism between the World Wars" (Rizzoli
International, 1987), Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Gilmartin and
Thomas Mellins made the following commentary:
"Upjohn's design seemed all the more refreshing
after York & Sawyer's completion of the Brick Presbyterian
Church in 1938....this was a skillful but uninspired red brick
and limestone design. Its roots lay in the eighteenth-century
London churches of John James and James Gibbs - and Federal era
churches - but York & Sawyer's detailing was so glib, so impeccably
corect, that one missed all the naive provincialism of early American
Such criticism, of course, would make mincemeat
of Colonial Williamsburg. Glibness and impeccability are not always
vices and both churches are very good, and demonstrate, once again,
that Georgian-style architecture is extremely elegant. This structure
is one of the highlights of upper Park Avenue.
The building lies within the Carnegie Hill