Tuesday, March 26, 2019

High Church - North Shore Episcopalian Churches Pt. 3

Just one church today. The old photos are dark so I decided to include newer shots to accompany each one.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church
On the corner of Castleton and Davis Avenues in West New Brighton, this beautiful little church shares its grounds with a parsonage and garage. Surrounded by medical offices, lawyers, and slightly rundown houses, it looks a little out of place these days. The parish was founded in 1848 and the present building is from 1905. 

Thursday, March 07, 2019

High Church - North Shore Episcopalian Churches Pt. 2

Here's another installment of Episcopalian churches.

Situated on a large, tree-filled corner of New Brighton (specifically Hamilton Park), Christ Church is a large, Gothic-style building. According to Wikipedia, it was built in 1904. The large attached parish hall was built in 1879 and remodeled in 1909. I don't have a date for the rectory, seen on the far left of the bottom picture, however.

I don't have any interior pictures of the church and that's a shame. I've was in the sanctuary once and it can only be described as beautiful. As someone who grew up very high Lutheran, my tastes definitely run toward the more elaborate and ornate. I get the theology behind a stripped down church but I definitely prefer something like Christ Church.

Christ Church - Franklin Avenue

I grew up attending Trinity Lutheran Church, just up the block from St. Paul's, but I've never been in it or known anybody who attended there. From the pictures on their website, it's another beautiful house of worship. 

The present building was constructed in 1866 to replace the older, wooden one that was across the street a block or so away.

Original St. Paul's Memorial Church - St. Paul's Avenue - date unknown

Map of St. Paul's Avenue - 1874

St. Paul's Memorial Church - St. Paul's Avenue - 1939/1940

St. Paul's - 2013

St. Paul's Parsonage - St. Paul's Avenue - 1939/1940

St. Paul's Parsonage - 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2019

High Church - North Shore Episcopalian Churches Pt. 1

The Episcopalian Churches: Part 1

Once upon a time, the Episcopalian Church was the denomination of America's elite. Eleven of our forty five presidents were Episcopalians. Today, with under 2 million members, it's a dwindling church, like most mainline Protestant churches. The whys and wherefores of that are a conversation for a place other than this site.

What matters here are the gorgeous houses of worship raised by the Episcopalian Church. Once upon a time, when it was wealthy and filled with people willing to dedicate that wealth to such construction, it raised some of the most beautiful buildings to ever grace Staten Island, something for which we should all be grateful.

So, let's start with one of the lost churches of the Island. They're not really lost, but instead moved or destroyed.

Church of the Ascension

Built as an offshoot of Trinity Church in Manhattan, the Church of the Ascension was established 1802 on a small hill overlooking the Kill Van Kull. Situated on Richmond Terrace between Alaska Street and Tompkins Court, in the 1920s area industrialized, and the congregation decided to move the building to Kingsley Avenue near Clove Lakes. The 1929 Crash made this impossible, and the original church was left behind. You can see a FOR SALE sign in the picture below (1939 or 1940).

Church of the Ascension Parsonage - Richmond Terrace and Van Street
Church of the Ascension, sans steeple top - Richmond Terrace

from the church's own website - priest and congregation

Church of the Ascension in all its steepled-glory - 1930

The present Church of the Ascension is a small, brick building tucked away in a lovely section of Castleton Corners.

This church began as a Sunday school (for adults), in 1889. It gradually evolved into a full church and moved around to various locations in Mariners Harbor before buying a plot of land on the corner of Richmond Terrace and Van Name Avenue. In 1909, they acquired the Floating Church of Our Saviour, previously operated by the Seamen's Institute out in New York harbor. Go to this page to see a series of pictures of building at sea and on land.

It was docked at the foot of Van Name and in 1914 was moved to solid ground. In 1959, it burned down. The congregation, its cost not fully covered by insurance, bought new property on Wooley Avenue and Victory Boulevard and built the present church.

Floating Church of Our Saviour on its way to becoming All Saints' Church

All Saints' Church - Richmond Terrace and Van Name Street - 1939/1940

All Saints' Church - present - Victory Boulevard