St. Philip's Episcopal Church (Manhattan)

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St. Philip's Episcopal Church
St. Philip's Church 204 West 134th Street.jpg
St. Philip's Episcopal Church (Manhattan) is located in New York City
St. Philip's Episcopal Church (Manhattan)
St. Philip's Episcopal Church (Manhattan) is located in New York
St. Philip's Episcopal Church (Manhattan)
St. Philip's Episcopal Church (Manhattan) is located in the US
St. Philip's Episcopal Church (Manhattan)
Location 210-216 West 134th Street
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates 40°48′52.82″N 73°56′43″W / 40.8146722°N 73.94528°W / 40.8146722; -73.94528Coordinates: 40°48′52.82″N 73°56′43″W / 40.8146722°N 73.94528°W / 40.8146722; -73.94528
Built 1910-11[2]
Architect Tandy & Foster:
Vertner W. Tandy
George W. Foster, Jr.
Architectural style Gothic Revival
NRHP Reference # 08000933[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP September 25, 2008
Designated NYCL Jul 13, 1993

St. Philip's Episcopal Church is a historic Episcopal church located at 204 West 134th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Its congregation was founded in 1809 in the notorious Five Points neighborhood[2] by free Africans worshiping at Trinity Church, Wall Street as the Free African Church of St. Philip, and is the oldest black Episcopal parish in New York City.[3] Historically, it was an extremely influential institution in Harlem.[3]

The first church foundation stone was laid in 1819, and the first rector from 1826 to 1840 was the Rev. Peter Williams, Jr., a leading abolitionist. The "first two sites were on Centre Street. In 1822, a brick building replaced the original wood frame church damaged by fire. This same building would undergo two more reconstructions. In 1834, irate whites vandalized the church and in 1863, New York City police used the church as a barracks for militia and police handling draft riots. By 1886 the church was located on 25th Street."[4] It sold this property c.1909 for $600,000, and with this money was able to buy the site of the current church, as well as 10 apartment buildings on West 135th Street which has previously been restricted to whites only.[2] The reredos of the current church came from the church on 25th Street.[3]

The present church building was designed by architects Vertner Woodson Tandy and George Washington Foster of the firm Tandy & Foster. Both were prominent African-American architects: Tandy being the first African-American architect licensed to practice in New York State and Foster being among the first licensed by the State of New Jersey. It was built in 1910-1911 in the Neo-Gothic style.[5]

Notable parishioners of St. Philip's include W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, and Langston Hughes.[3]

The church was designated a New York City Landmark in 1993,[6] and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.[1]

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  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010), AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195383867 , p.541
  3. ^ 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. , pp.242-43
  4. ^ Church History, St. Philip's Harlem (Accessed 2 August 2010)
  5. ^ Shaver, Peter D. (July 1997). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: St. Philip's Church". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-03-25.  See also: "Accompanying seven photos". 
  6. ^ New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S. (text); Postal, Matthew A. (text) (2009), Postal, Matthew A., ed., Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1 , p.203

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