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A Higher Power: 1937

A Higher Power: 1937

March 2, 1937. New York City. "St. Paul's chapel and churchyard, Broadway and Fulton streets." Overshadowed by two proto-skyscrapers from the 1890s, the Park Row and St. Paul buildings. Photo by Arnold Moses for the Historic American Buildings Survey. View full size.


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Time and Time again

St. Paul's and Trinity, just down the street at the head of Wall Street, both have clocks. The clock at St. Paul's was stopped by the dust of 9/11. (same parish).

The one in Trinity's tower was used to signal the start of the New Year. Before Times Square, people would gather at Trinity on New Year's Eve and celebrate when the clock struck midnight.

My very first thought on this image

If I lived in the building on the back left, I really would have loved to have a friend in the opposite building so I could walk back and forth across those steel beams each day to hang out. Other than that, it's an amazing photo.

3:11 PM

It's odd to see a church tower with a clock. Clocks are more often seen on banks or government buildings.


You are looking at the front of the chapel. While you now enter on Broadway, the front is shown here - the altar is on the Broadway side. Most people think the Broadway side is the front.

The archivist for Trinity/St Paul's theorizes that after his inauguration, Washington who famously worshiped here, traveled from Wall Street where he was sworn in, to St. P's by boat - as it was faster.

At the time, the graveyard was on a gently sloping hill that lead led to the Hudson River.

I was in there the Sunday after 9/11. It was dusty, but there wasn't a crystal off the chandelier, or a crack in the ceiling. The only loss was a single tree, an insignificant sycamore, and not a very old one at that.

Barnum's American Museum was once across the street. When it burned for the last time, he put the show on the road, and under the big top.


Love the new look!

[Thanks. It is a work in progress! - Dave]

Still haunting me

I had the privilege of visiting and photographing this cemetery in 2011. It's across the street from Ground Zero and the new World Trade Center, which was still under construction then. All of the trees are grown tall now; most of the gravestones are under leafy shade. Nothing was harmed in the terrorist attacks, and they used the church building as a place of refuge and refreshment for the first responders. There's a pew where George Washington worshiped ... back in the day.

Matter of perceptive (pun intended)

Even meets the traditional city ordinance that no profane building shall be higher than the church spire.

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