Elmendorf Reformed Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Elmendorf Reformed Church
Elmendorf Reformed Church.jpg
Elmendorf Reformed Church is located in New York City
Elmendorf Reformed Church
Elmendorf Reformed Church is located in New York
Elmendorf Reformed Church
Elmendorf Reformed Church is located in the US
Elmendorf Reformed Church
Location 171 E. 121st St.
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates 40°48′5.5″N 73°56′18″W / 40.801528°N 73.93833°W / 40.801528; -73.93833Coordinates: 40°48′5.5″N 73°56′18″W / 40.801528°N 73.93833°W / 40.801528; -73.93833
Built 1893-94[2]
Architect Joseph Ireland[2]
Architectural style Classical[2]
NRHP reference # 10000225[1]
Added to NRHP April 27, 2010

The Elmendorf Reformed Church, formerly known as the Elmendorf Chapel, is a historic Reformed Church in America (RCA) church located at 171 East 121st Street between Sylvan Court and Third Avenue in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was founded as a parish house and Sunday school[3] for the First Collegiate Church of Harlem, which had its beginnings in 1660 as the Low Dutch Reformed Church of Harlem or Harlem Reformed Dutch Church, the first house of worship in Harlem. The Church's original burying ground for its African American congregants was discovered in 2008 at the 126th Street Depot of the MTA Regional Bus Operations when body parts were found upon digging at the location.[4] The Metropolitan Transportation Authority agreed to move the Depot by 2015.[5]

Sanctuaries were built in 1665-67, 1686–87, 1825 and 1897, at various locations in the area. In 1893-94 a Neoclassical parish house was built on this site under the auspices of Rev. Joachim Elmendorf, designed by Joseph Ireland. Around 1910, the church at the time was torn down, and the parish house was rebuilt as the Elmendorf Chapel, which then became the Elmendorf Reformed Church. It is the oldest congregation in Harlem.[2][6]

The church is a two-story plus basement building which is "L" shaped in plan and fills much of its 53 feet wide by 120 feet deep lot.[7]

The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.[1]



  1. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places Listings". WEEKLY LIST OF ACTIONS TAKEN ON PROPERTIES: 4/26/10 THROUGH 4/30/10. National Park Service. 2010-05-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d Dunlap, David W. (2004). From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12543-7. , p.61
  3. ^ Harlem's Old Dutch Church NYTimes, 1894 Jan 28
  4. ^ Harlem Bus Depot Built Atop African Burial Ground. Gothamist.com, March 15, 2010 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2014-01-19.  Retrieved January 17, 2014
  5. ^ Gartland, Michael. "MTA to move depot built on slave graveyard" New York Post (January 19, 2014) Retrieved January 19, 2014
  6. ^ White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot & Leadon, Fran (2010), AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195383867 , p.553
  7. ^ "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)" (Searchable database). New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2016-08-01. [permanent dead link] Note: This includes Howe, Kathleen A. (January 2010). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Elmendorf Reformed Church" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-01.  and Accompanying 19 photographs

External links[edit]