ST. PAULS CHAPEL OF TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET
A chapel of the Parish of Trinity Church, St. Paul’s was built on land granted by Anne, Queen of Great Britain, designed by architect Thomas McBean and built by master craftsman Andrew Gautier. Upon completion in 1766, it was the tallest building in New York City. It stood in a field some distance from the growing port city to the south and was built as a “chapel-of-ease” for parishioners who thought the mother church inconvenient to access. Built of Manhattan mica-schist with brownstone quoins, St. Paul’s has the classical portico, boxy proportions and domestic details that are characteristic of Georgian churches such as James Gibbs’ London church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, after which it was modelled. Its octagonal tower rises from a square base and is topped by a replica of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates. On the Broadway side of the chapel’s exterior is an oak statue of the church’s namesake, Saint Paul, carved by an unknown sculptor and installed in 1790. Below the east window is the monument to Brigadier General Richard Montgomery, who died at the Battle of Quebec (1775) during the American Revolutionary War. In the spire, the first bell is inscribed “Mears London, Fecit [Made] 1797.” The second bell, made in 1866, was added in celebration of the chapel’s 100th anniversary. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960, in part because it is the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City. The chapel survived the Great New York City Fire of 1776 when a quarter of New York City (then confined to the lower tip of Manhattan), including Trinity Church, burned following the British capture of the city after the Battle of Long Island during the American Revolutionary War.