Serving God and mammon, this Wall Street house of worship -- with neo-Gothic flying buttresses, beautiful stained-glass windows, and vaulted ceilings -- was designed by Richard Upjohn and consecrated in 1846. At that time, its 280-foot spire dominated the skyline. Its main doors, embellished with biblical scenes, were inspired in part by Ghiberti's famed doors on Florence's Baptistery. The historic Episcopal church stood strong while office towers crumbled around it on September 11, 2001; however, a digital organ has replaced the historic pipe organ, which was severely damaged by dust and debris.
The church runs a brief tour daily at 2pm (a second Sun tour follows the 11:15am Eucharist); groups of five or more should call tel. 212/602-0872 to reserve. There's a small museum at the end of the left aisle displaying documents (including the 1697 church charter from King William III), photographs, replicas of the Hamilton-Burr duel pistols, and other items. Surrounding the church is a churchyard whose monuments read like an American history book: a tribute to martyrs of the American Revolution, Alexander Hamilton, Robert Fulton, and many more. Lined with benches, this makes a wonderful picnic spot on warm days.
Also part of Trinity Church is St. Paul's Chapel, at Broadway and Fulton Street, New York's only surviving pre-Revolutionary church, and a transition shelter for homeless men until it was transformed into a relief center after September 11, 2001; it returned to its former duties in mid-2002. Built by Thomas McBean, with a templelike portico and fluted Ionic columns supporting a massive pediment, the chapel resembles London's St. Martin-in-the-Fields. In the small graveyard, 18th- and early-19th-century notables rest in peace and modern businesspeople sit for lunch.
Trinity holds its renowned Concerts at One series of chamber music and orchestral concerts Monday and Thursday at 1pm.
- © Frommer's 2013