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Located in Lower Manhattan, in New York City, St. Paul’s Chapel remains the longest standing building that is to this day in constant use. The chapel opened its doors in 1766 as part of the Parish of Trinity Church which was established in 1697. The chapel has a great deal of significance. St. Paul’s Chapel is associated with The Episcopal Church described as Protestant, but nonetheless Catholic, the nation’s 14th largest denomination.
St. Paul’s Chapel is located precisely at 209 Broadway at Wall Street, between Vesey St. and Fulton St. The chapel was designed by an amazing architect by the name of Thomas McBean. Mr. McBean’s design was essentially brought to life by Andrew Gautier, a master craftsman from New York. As master craftsman of the church, the New Yorker has also been credited for assisting in preserving the Trinity Church in the fire of 1750. In addition, he received a half of a burial vault for himself and his family in the Trinity Churchyard.
In 1766, the 17th Century Georgian style church was built in an attempt to reach the worshippers who lived “uptown.” Today the chapel continues to operate traditional Sunday services. St. Paul’s Chapel is also available daily for prayer. NYC visitors are highly encouraged to participate in these services for the sake of praying for world peace. Visitors will also discover community events such as concerts, labyrinth walks, organ recitals and many more activities that take place year around at the chapel.
In the late 17th Century from 1789-1790, New York served as the United States Capitol. During the passage of this time, our late President George Washington as well as several Colonial and Revolutionary historians worshipped at St. Paul’s Chapel.
Today, the St. Paul’s Chapel is often referred to as “The Little Chapel That Stood”. The chapel received this title due to its remarkable station to withstand the destruction on the World Trade Center which was located right across the street, near the east side of the church. The church and churchyard did happen to experience a vast amount of dust and debris from the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, but no physical damage endangered the life of the building. Following the attack on the WTC, the chapel became a pilgrimage site to various entities in efforts of support. The St. Paul’s Chapel sheltered firefighters, law enforcement, construction workers and many others. St. Paul’s provided room and boarding, counseling and much needed prayer. To say the least, the chapel transformed into a place of “peace, rest, and reconciliation.”
This great New York attraction is definitely a place to visit if you are ever in the New York area. It is also the worshipping home to millions of New Yorkers. Visiting places such as Ground Zero do not fulfill your full 9/11 memorial experience unless you visit St. Paul’s Chapel at Parish of the Trinity Church which includes its own memorial to the 9/11 disaster. The chapel is known to have played a spirited role in displaying the affects and efforts brought forward in the 9/11 story. It is a site that many people visit throughout the years to learn about the ministry that mercifully took place. To this day you will find various items such as flags, banners, cards, drawings, photos and other significant items received to encourage and provide strength to rescue workers and many of those affected.
- Written by Demonte Thomas, OnBoard staff writer
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