This Church Has Been Named Oldest Church in New York


New York City is well-known for its towering skyscrapers, world-class museums, and diverse cultural offerings. Despite the current rush and bustle, some of the country’s oldest churches have weaved a fascinating historical tapestry. Join me on a trip through time to discover the tales behind these lasting landmarks.

St. Paul’s Chapel: A Testament to Resilience

St. Paul’s Chapel, located at 209 Broadway between Fulton and Vesey Streets in Lower Manhattan, is Manhattan’s oldest surviving church edifice. Its beautiful Late Georgian building, built in 1766, reflects its long-lasting heritage.

St. Paul’s Chapel has witnessed key occasions throughout its history, from George Washington’s inaugural service in 1789 to Alexander Hamilton’s mournful goodbye in 1804. Most notably, amid the horrific events of September 11, 2001, St. Paul’s remained steady in the face of catastrophe, providing comfort to rescue personnel and serving as a light of hope for a mourning nation.

Today, St. Paul’s Chapel is a vibrant Episcopal church that welcomes guests worldwide. Step inside to enjoy the exquisite decor, which has cut glass chandeliers and a timeless oak figure of Saint Paul. Pay tribute to the heroes of 9/11 at the moving memorial display, demonstrating the chapel’s lasting spirit of resilience.

The Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral is a Revered Landmark

The Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, located at 263 Mulberry Street in Nolita, is a Gothic Revival architectural marvel. Constructed between 1809 and 1815, this historic cathedral served as the Archdiocese of York’s initial seat until the erection of the current St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in 1879.

Joseph-François Mangin designed the cathedral’s towering exterior, which has twin towers and a brilliant rose window. Step inside to find a sanctuary filled with stained glass windows, marble altars, and the magnificent tones of the ancient Erben organ, which dates back to 1868.

Throughout its long history, the Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral has served as a beacon of religion for immigrant groups, notably the Irish, who sought consolation in its hallowed halls in the face of adversity. Today, it serves as both a thriving parish and a basilica, signifying New York’s continuous relationship with the Vatican.

Exploring New York’s Heritage

Aside from these prominent structures, New York has a variety of additional historic churches ready to be explored:

  • The Historic Manhattan Seventh-Day Adventist Church, built in 1824, is the world’s oldest Seventh-Day Adventist church and may be found at 232 W 11th Street in the West Village.
  • John Street United Methodist Church: Constructed in 1841, it is the oldest Methodist church in America, located at 44 John Street in the Financial District.
  • The First Chinese Presbyterian Church, formerly known as the Mariners’ Temple, was founded in 1817-19 and is the oldest Presbyterian church in New York City, located at 61 Henry Street in Chinatown.


As a summary, New York City’s oldest churches brilliantly represent its vast history. St. Paul’s Chapel is a steadfast monument, with a history extending back to 1766, and its significance was heightened by the horrific events of 9/11. The Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece, has been a beloved religious monument since 1815. These, together with other historic churches, reflect the city’s rich and long-standing cultural legacy.

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