Tag Archives: 1919

St. Bartholomew’s Church

St. Bartholomew’s Church was a legal, as well as architectural landmark; its status was contested all the way to the Supreme Court. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) had designated the church and its Community House landmarks in 1967 – over the objections of the church. In 1981 the church sought to replace the community house with a 59-story office building, in order to raise cash. The LPC rejected the plans, setting off a legal battle over whether churches could be subject to historic ordinances. LPC prevailed and the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

The current church is St. Bart’s third site: The congregation was organized in 1835 at Lafayette Place and Great Jones Street; in 1872 it moved uptown to Madison Avenue and E 44th Street; in 1918 it moved to the Park Avenue location.

Though the church proper was designed by Bertram G. Goodhue, the three-door Romanesque porch was designed by McKim, Mead & White. The entryway, part of the Madison Avenue church, had been built as a memorial to Cornelius Vanderbilt II; it was moved to the new building.

The Community House was erected nine years later, designed by Goodhue’s associates Mayers, Murray & Phillip. (Goodhue died in 1924.) The Community House and adjoining terrace are the site of a restaurant, “Inside Park.”

Mayers, Murray & Phillip also designed the dome, erected in 1930 in place of the steeple that had been planned but never built.

St. Bartholomew’s Church Vital Statistics
  • Location: 109 E 50th Street at Park Avenue
  • Year completed: 1919 (church); 1928 (Community House); 1930 (dome)
  • Architect: Bertram G. Goodhue (church); Mayers, Murray & Phillip (Community House & dome)
  • Style: Byzantine & Romanesque
  • New York City Landmark: 1967
  • National Register of Historic Places: 1980
St. Bartholomew’s Church Suggested Reading

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Brooklyn Army Terminal

Brooklyn Army Terminal is Cass Gilbert’s monumental all-concrete intermodal warehouse, rushed to completion for World War I. Also known as the US Army Military Ocean Terminal or the Brooklyn Army Base, it was the largest concrete building, when built, and also the largest military terminal in the U.S. As a strictly utilitarian facility, the buildings totally lack the lavish ornamentation of Gilbert’s Beaux Arts and Gothic masterpieces.

Although completed too late to play a role in WWI, the five-million-square-foot terminal moved three million troops and 37 million tons of military cargo during WWII.

The terminal continued to operate through the cold war, as a supply base for U.S. troops in NATO. The most famous soldier to “ship out” from Brooklyn was Elvis Presley, in 1958. But after Elvis left the building, things were pretty quiet until the ’70s, when the Army itself shipped out. New York City bought the Brooklyn Army Terminal in 1981 and began converting it to civilian use in 1984, a process that is still continuing.

Like other industrial parks, Brooklyn Army Terminal is closed to the general public, but Turnstile Tours now has twice-monthly weekend guided tours of the facility.

(Many thanks to Corey William Schneider and the New York Adventure Club, the Facebook-based group that arranges explorations of lesser-known attractions throughout the city’s five boroughs.)

Brooklyn Army Terminal Vital Statistics
Brooklyn Army Terminal Recommended Reading

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