Holy Trinity Church
213 West 82nd St.
New York NY 10024
Frederick D. Taylor
Believe it or not, but some aspects of medieval culture have filtered into
modern society. Although many parts of the medieval age have disappeared and drifted away,
its culture still made some lasting contributions. In fact, medieval methods of
architecture have definitely lingered on as a heavy and dramatic influence upon the modern
era. On any given day you can look around your own town and notice buildings that have
traces of medieval architecture. Medieval-like structures are especially apparent in New
York City. The Holy Trinity Church, located at 213 West 82nd Street, is just
one of many churches which represent medieval architecture.
Background of the Church
It is certainly fitting to acknowledge the beauty of Holy Trinity Church since it is
approaching its centennial birth. On October 23, 1898, Reverend Joseph H. Bigley was
appointed the right to establish a new parish on the West Side between 77th street and 86th from Central Park to the River. As Father Bigleys diary
reads: "The property selected was the north side of 82nd Street, one
hundred feet west of Amersterdam Avenue
[and was] incorporated under the name of
"The Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church." Although a parish was established at
the end of 1898, the building, as we know it today, did not begin until 1900, when the
church was under the supervision of Father Michael J. Considine.
The area on the West Side in 1900 was by no means desolate and therefore presented a
problem for Father Considine who wanted to expand the church. Thus, it was not until two
years later when the father managed to purchase the surrounding property and develop the
perimeters of the parish. On Sunday, July 3, 1910, the cornerstone of the churchs
superstructure was finally laid down and the task of completing the parish began.
Father Considine was determined to construct a church whose "beauty would be an
inspiration to man and a tribute to God."(The Holy Trinity Church 7) It is
quite apparent, when viewing the church today, that Father Considine achieved his goal.
One factor, which contributed to this turn of the century churchs beauty, is its
uniqueness. Unlike the other churches of the same era, Father Considine and Joseph H.
McGuire, the churchs chief architect, decided to stray away from the popular and
common use of the classic designs. Both decided not to bind the churchs architecture
extensively to Gothic or Romanesque forms. Instead, Considine and McGuire chose to revert
to the initial form of Christian Architecture Byzantine. By the time of the
churchs dedication on May 11, 1912, the decision to implement a predominantly
Byzantine form for the church proved to be an excellent and regretless choice. As the
Catholic News stated at the time, "the new Church of the Holy Trinity
of brick and terra cotta and possesses a handsome façade [and] is considered to be one of
the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in this country
Trinity Church 8)
Holy Trinity Church, Hackensack, New Jersey, Custombook, Inc., 1973.
Mathews, Thomas F., The Early Churches of Constantinople, University Park,
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1971.
NewYork | Holy Trinity Main | Byzantine Architecture |
Exterior | Interior