St. Agnes Chapel (New York City)
|The Former Episcopal Chapel of St. Agnes|
|Architectural style||Gothic Revival|
|Town or city||New York, New York|
|Country||United States of America|
|Client||The Episcopal Church in the United States|
|Structural system||Limestone masonry|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||William Appleton Potter|
St. Agnes Chapel was an Upper West Side Episcopal "plant chapel" of Trinity Church (New York City), one of many. It was located at 121-147 West 91st Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues. It was at first reused by its parish school and then demolished for a gymnasium in the 1940s.
Like many large buildings in the 19th century, St. Agnes was the product of an architectural competition. Announced in July 1888, Trinity Corporation had already invited six architects: Charles C. Haight, Henry M. Congdon, Frederick C. Withers, Richard M. Hunt, William Halsey Wood, and McKim Mead & White. Each of them received $1,000 compensation, but other architects were invited to submit designs and would be paid, if chosen. Instead, the jury selected an entry from William Appleton Potter, son of Episcopal Bishop Alonzo Potter.
The church was built between 1890 and 1892 by William Appleton Potter. The New York Times described St. Agnes as “the finest church structure, barring the cathedral, in New York City.” A parish school was located adjacent, sharing its midblock location. Downtown Trinity Parish reexamined the small congregation in 1934, already split from nearby Episcopal churches, and decided to close it. Eager to expand, the parish school, also named Trinity, bought it as a gymnasium space and demolished it for a more permanent structure in 1943.
- J. Russiello, A Sympathetic Planning Hierarchy for Redundant Churches: A Comparison of Continued Use and Reuse in Denmark, England and the United States of America (MSc Conservation of Historic Buildings, University of Bath, 2008), p. 129.
- The Engineering and Building Record, 28 July 1888, p. 99
- “Landmarks Preservation Commission,” p. 6.
- Margaret Maliszewski, “Designation List 219: “Trinity School and the Former St. Agnes Parish House,” (New York: Landmarks Preservation Commission, 1989), p. 5-6.
- St Agnes Branch, New York Public Library
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