Saint Thomas Church
Saint Thomas church was founded in 1823 with the first building completed in 1826 at Broadway and Houston. The church burned down in 1851 and was replaced. The third church was finished in 1870 at 5th Avenue and 53rd street; it also burned down. Construction on the present building started 1911 and was completed in 1914. It was designed by the architectural firm of Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson. The firm also designed Saint Bartholomew Church, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, the chapel and a large part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Princeton University Chapel, and the Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. The church was the site of many high society weddings including Consuelo Vanderbilt to Charles Spencer-Churchill, the first cousin of Winston Churchill. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the church held an interfaith service addressed by Prime Minister Tony Blair and broadcast live through the U.K. Music is an important component of worship at Saint Thomas Church. The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys follows in the Anglican tradition of the all male choral ensemble; the Saint Thomas Choir School is the only church–affiliated boarding choir school in the U.S.
I have been to Saint Thomas several times to photograph the church. Saint Thomas allows photography during quiet times as long as you respect those around you. During worship services, they do not allow photography. However, for large periods of time in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon, photography is allowed.
Unlike Saint Patrick’s a few blocks away on 5th Avenue, there were not many people in the church on my visits. People don’t know what they are missing as this classic Gothic church is a wonderful, beautiful place. The church has a walking tour guide that describes the various highlights of the church and this guide is my primary source.
churchcathedralphotoKent Beckernot my day job photographyEpiscopalAnglicannave