New York's oldest public building in continuous use, St. Paul's Chapel, opened in 1766 and is still an active part of Trinity Church. Completed in 1766, the Georgian chapel was spared from the fire that consumed lower Manhattan that same year by the heroic efforts by a bucket brigade.
In the aftermath of the fire, St. Paul's Chapel served as a refuge and relief center for hundreds of homeless New Yorkers, a role it reprised 225 years later in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Memorials and items sent to encourage the rescue workers during New York City's darkest days are still on display in an interactive exhibit.
While New York was the nation's capital from 1788 to 1790, St. Paul's congregation included George Washington and many of the founding fathers who were drawn to the intimate chapel. Visitors to St. Paul's Chapel can see Washington's original church pew and an exquisite 18th century oil painting of the Great Seal of the United States.
Surrounding St. Paul's Chapel, a churchyard with pre-Revolutionary War graves and memorials to Revolutionary War heroes. Interments ceased in the beginning of the 19th century and recently underwent a restoration in 2002 to remove damaging debris that blanketed the cemetery following September 11, 2001. The Bell of Hope, a gift from St. Paul's sister church in London was installed following the restoration to commemorate the events at the World Trade Center and the parish's mission work.
Today, St. Paul's Chapel is an active part of the Trinity Church parish holding daily mass, concerts lectures welcoming visitors from all backgrounds. The practice of daily Prayers for Peace and Reconciliation rose out of the community's need for healing in the aftermath of 9/11 and continues daily at midday.
Facts For Your VisitFee: No
Address: 209 Broadway, New York, NY 10007, USA
Phone: (212) 602-0800
Official Website: St. Paul's Chapel
|Subway Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|E||World Trade Center||2 minutes|
|4 or 5||Fulton Street||2 minutes|
How to get to St. Paul's Chapel by Subway
Take the E train to the World Trade Center, head southwest on Vessey Street, turn left on Church Street, turn right on Broadway or take a 4 or 5 train to Fulton Street, walk north on Broadway.
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Ratedout of 5
This church is definitely worth a visit, since it’s the oldest church in NYC, having been built in 1766. George Washington worshipped here during the 2 years that NYC was the nation’s capital. The church is done in a Georgian style and is very plain but beautiful. It is worth mentioning that this location was pivotal after the cowardly terrorist attacks of 9/11/01. Many people posted flyers of people they were looking for on the fence surrounding the church (it was such a sad thing to see). Many workers who helped in the clean-up actually slept inside the church, making it even more significant. St. Paul’s sits in the heart of the city I love.
Edward Delfino - 2 days ago
Love this church! Historic. Music concerts are awesome. Eclectic offerings. I recently went to an event of Estonian choral music with a reception. You can visit most days. Their doors were open for aid in 9/11 times. Next to the Freedom Tower and World Trade Center Path train. So much happening in this glorious place. Heavenly atmosphere. I am so uplifted here. You will be too! Majestic.
Carla Rupp - 7 days ago
Really cool story about this little church withstanding all the damage from 9/11 happening around it and the only thing that happened to this church was one broken window. The tour we took really highlighted this small church and how there was such minor damage, no one could really believe it. It was the perfect spot to start our 9/11 tour.
Amanda Harper - 1 month ago
Did you know that this chapel was built in 1766? This is the oldest church in Manhattan, the chapel of St. Paul was the parish part of the large church of the Holy Trinity, located just six blocks to the south. The territory around the chapel was called “holy land” for two reasons, and only one of them is related to religion. The land was holy because it belonged to the church; but it was precisely there that the Manhattan moths sold their services. The main entrance to the church was located on the Broadway side. The chapel is the best surviving example of Georgian church architecture in the city. George Washington used to pray in this chapel, and his bench is still kept there. That's why I love NY and its architecture is rich in history. Over the years, the chapel only absorbs urban beauty and history more.
Scott Brown - 1 month ago
The chapel gave rest, hope, peace and sometimes just a hot meal to those who served tirelessly and endlessly after 9/11. It is truly a sacred and reverent place. I love how it has become a memorial to the men and women who gave everything to try and help others. It even serves as a reminder to us all of the ongoing trials that many of the rescuers have, both with their body and their mind. I've never felt such reverence as I felt in this church. I've had 3 visits to NY, and all 3 times I've visited this church. I can't imagine a trip to NY and not stopping here. Paying respects, questioning my own mettle, thinking of the bravery. First responders do just that, they respond. They help. They give everything. And St. Paul's is an ongoing reminder that there are men and women, not just on 9/11 but every day, who are willing to sacrifice their lives for each of us. God bless the men and women who gave their lives and the others who tried to find some peace, rest and comfort while working the pile.
Mike N - 5 months ago