Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church (New York City)

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Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church
General information
Town or city New York, New York
Country United States of America
Construction started 1925 (for church),[1]
1934 (for crypt),[2]
1952 (for renovation)[2]
Completed 1926 (for church),[1]
1934 (for crypt),[2]
1953 (for renovation)[2]
Cost $30,000 (budgeted for 1925 church construction)[1]
Client The Lutheran Church of Our Saviour (1925);
The Armenian Apostolic Church (1952)[2]
Design and construction
Architect Stoyan N. Karastoyanoff of 220 Audubon Avenue (for 1925-1926 church).[1]
Manoug Exerjian (for 1934 crypt and 1952-1953 renovation)[2]

Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church is a significant Armenian Apostolic Church in Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York City at 580 West 187th Street. It occupies the former second location of the Lutheran church of The Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, established in 1897 as a mission church of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church and built in its second location at West 187th Street. The church building was built between 1925 to 1926 at a cost of $30,000 to designs by an architect Stoyan N. Karastoyanoff of 220 Audubon Avenue.[1] The Lutheran congregation moved into their parish house after the Great Depression and the church and the Armenian Apostolic Church took over the church in 1929.[2][3]

On December 24, 1933, a group of assassins attacked Eastern Diocese Archbishop Levon Tourian as he walked down the aisle of Holy Cross Armenian Church in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City during the Divine Liturgy, and killed him with a butcher knife. Nine Tashnags were later arrested, tried and convicted. The incident divided the Armenian community, as Tashnag sympathizers established congregations independent of Etchmiadzin, declaring loyalty instead to the See based in Antelias in Lebanon. The division was formalized in 1956 when the Antelias (Cilisian) See broke away from the Echmiadzin See.[4]

After the assassination, the church was reconsecrated, with a new crypt added in 1934 to designs by Manoug Exerjian, who also refaced and renovated the church between 1952 and 1953.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Office for Metropolitan History, "Manhattan NB Database 1900-1986," (Accessed 25 Dec 2010).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h David W. Dunlap, From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship (New York City: Columbia University Press, 2004), 99.
  3. ^ Organ Website Church History (accessed 27 Dec 2010)
  4. ^ Alexander, Ben (2007). "Contested Memories, Divided Diaspora: Armenian Americans, the Thousand-day Republic, and the Polarized Response to an Archbishop's Murder". Journal of American Ethnic History 27 (1). Retrieved 2009-07-11. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°51′9.36″N 73°55′49.94″W / 40.8526000°N 73.9305389°W / 40.8526000; -73.9305389