Church of the Incarnation and the adjoining H. Percy Silver Parish House (originally a rectory) have served the Murray Hill neighborhood for a century and a half, rebuilt after a serious fire in 1882. The rectory got a new facade in 1906, and was converted to a parish house in 1934.
Apart from the building’s longevity and classical design, the church is significant for its works of art: Stained glass windows, murals and sculpture by John LaFarge, Louis C. Tiffany, William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Christopher LaFarge, Daniel Chester French, Henry Hobson Richardson and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The church’s website includes a virtual tour of the artwork. The Wikipedia entry also contains a list of the artworks and artists.
Several architects were involved in the church and parish house. Emlen Littell designed the original church; David Jardine designed the restoration (after the 1882 fire), which slightly modified the original plans; Heins & LaFarge designed the spire that was added in 1896. (A spire was part of Littell’s original plans, but not built.) The rectory (later parish house) has been attributed to Robert Mook, but may have actually been designed by Littell. In any case, the facade was rebuilt in 1806 in the design by Edward Pearce Casey – switching from Victorian Gothic to neo-Jacobean style.
Church of the Incarnation Vital Statistics
- Location: 205 Madison Avenue at E35th Street
- Year completed: 1864 (church), 1868 (parish house)
- Architect: Emlen T. Littell (church), Robert Mook (parish house)
- Style: Gothic Revival (church), Renaissance Revival (parish house)
- New York City Landmark: 1979
- National Register of Historic Places: 1982
Church of the Incarnation Suggested Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report (1979)
- Church of the Incarnation website (includes virtual tour)