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Chronicles: St. Bartholomew’s

archi_churchlongLike many older uptown and midtown churches, St. Bartholomew’s first began downtown in 1835, near the greatest concentration of New Yorkers. But as its congregation grew, it soon built a large new church uptown on Madison Avenue in the year 1872. The church was designed by James Renwick and later embellished with a triple portal by Stanford White. In addition to the church, a large parish house was erected on 42nd St with support from the Vanderbilt family.
Over time, Renwick’s masterpiece soon began to experience structural damages and a new church was commissioned to architect Bertram Goodhue, who moved the church to its current location of Park Avenue between 50th and 51st St. The new building was opened in 1918 and was designed in the Romanesque style in order to remain harmonious with the Stanford White portal, which was moved to the Park Avenue church. Visitors to St. Bartholomew’s will notice that the once inside, they will be transported out of New York with an interior steeped in a Byzantine style that reaches all the way to the mosaics covering the narthex.

For film aficionados, St. Bart’s (as it is affectionately known) has a somewhat long cinematic history. Actresses, sisters Dorothy and Lillian Gish are interred in the church, the 1981 movie Arthur, with Dudley Moore filmed its wedding scene at St. Bart’s, as did the upcoming 2010 remake with Russell Brand, and in the 2010 film Salt, the Russian President is supposedly killed there while delivering a eulogy at the funeral of the late American Vice President.
St. Bartholomew’s Church
325 Park Ave, New York, NY – (212) 378-0200

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