Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Mystery Solved: Synchronicity Is Involved

I was always curious about a massive structure that appeared in the Galt Hoy Map on Houston Street. The photos from the areas's demolition provided the answer. It was St. Augustine's Chapel and next to it was the Fisher Building. The image attached makes it clearer. Further investigation of St. Augustine's Chapel led back to the historic LES church on Henry Street and as they say in Buffalo, "Cool Beans." Our friend Marinus Willett is involved and so is Fort Pitt. From the staugnyc.org site: Saint Augustine's Church was formerly a chapel of the parish of Trinity Church (Wall Street) and is the outgrowth of two churches - All Saints' Church and Saint Augustine's Chapel. In 1819, a mission was started near the old Grand Street Ferry by students of the General Theological Seminary. The mission grew soundly under the lay leadership of Colonel Marinus Willet, early leader in the American Revolution and lifelong friend of General Lafayette. The real organization of All Saint's Church was accomplished on May 27, 1824, under the Reverend William A. Clark, who continued as Rector until 1837. During this period the present church was built. The stone was quarried from Mount Pitt, a hill sixty feet high, on which were erected the earthworks which guarded Washington's retreat from Long Island. The church was consecrated by John Henry Hobart, third bishop of New York in 1828, although it was not finally completed until 1829. In its early days, the church was attended by Edgar Allan Poe, who used to seek peace and quiet from his disturbed mind. Later, "Boss" Tweed, when a fugitive from justice, attended his mother's funeral here, hiding from the authorities in the slave gallery. Saint Augustine's Chapel was started in 1869 under the guidance of Trinity Parish. Its home, on East Houston Street, was completed in 1877. "A church for the people," Saint Augustine's was, from the beginning, the church home of diverse peoples. The large number of central European names which are found in its records testifies to the breadth of its ministry. Gradually, however, the neighborhood changed from residential to business."

No comments: