Our Lady of Esperanza Church

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Church of Our Lady of Esperanza
Photo of church
156th Street facade (2011)
General information
Architectural style Beaux-Arts/American Renaissance[1]
Town or city New York, New York
Country United States of America
Coordinates 40°50′2″N 73°56′49.2″W / 40.83389°N 73.947000°W / 40.83389; -73.947000
Construction started 1909[2]
Completed 1912[3]
Renovated 1924 (West 155th Street addition & remodeling)
Cost $50,000[3]
Client Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
Technical details
Structural system masonry
Design and construction
Architect Charles P. Huntington[2]
Renovating team
Architect Lawrence G. White of McKim, Mead & White
Our Lady of Esperanza, Washington Heights, New York City

The Church of Our Lady of Esperanza is a Roman Catholic parish church in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located at 624 West 156th Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, New York City.

156th Street facade c.1912, showing Charles P. Huntington's original design, and the stairway entrance to the church

The church is part of Audubon Terrace, which was designated a Historic District by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on January 9, 1979,[4] but it is organizationally separate from the museum complex.[3]


The parish was founded by Dona Manuela de Laverrerie de Barril, the wife of the Spanish Consul-General in New York.[3][5] Archer Milton Huntington, the railroad heir and founder of the Hispanic Society of America, was recruited to the cause and funded the project for the second Spanish-speaking Catholic church in New York. The church building was begun in 1909 to designs by Archer's cousin, Charles P. Huntington.[2] The building was enlarged and extended in 1924 by Lawrence G. White, son of Stanford White,[3] including an addition on 156th Street. Previously, the entrance to the church, which sat on a hill, was by way of an outdoor brick stairway with terra cotta balustrades, but White's addition allowed for an entrance at the street level, with the climb to the church occurring via an indoor staircase.[4]

The first pastor in 1912 was the Rev. Adrian Buisson, formerly pastor of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe 229 West 14th Street. Upon his retirement in 1952, the Rev. Francis Soutberg "was appointed Pastor until 1955 when Father Bernard Guillett assumed the position. Presently the Reverend Monsignor Peter O'Donnell is pastor."[3]



External links[edit]