By Dave Caplan
St. Paul’s Chapel is an Episcopal church, which opened in 1766 and is now the oldest remaining church building in Manhattan. Built on land granted by Queen Anne of Great Britain, its exterior is made of Manhattan Schist and Brownstone and was designed in the boxy proportions and domestic details that were characteristic of Georgian churches of that time. The interior has a simple elegant design and its generous gallery was bestowed with a comfortable, intimate character to encourage attendance.
After his inauguration on April 30th 1789, George Washington and members of the US Congress worshipped there. Washington would continue to come to St. Paul’s until New York was no longer the Capitol. St. Paul’s today for many is known for its involvement in the period directly following the September 11th attacks in lower Manhattan. Directly after the attacks, the church became a place for rest and comfort for the many brave Men and Women involved in recovery at the World Trade Center Site.
For month’s scores of volunteers worked around the clock serving meals, praying and counseling with firefighters, police and construction workers. One cannot forget the emotional posters and banners that covered the fences outside the church asking for help in locating their loved ones. With recovery hopes dim, most of them became memorials for lives lost. The scene outside St. Paul’s came to symbolize the pain and huge loss of life for New Yorkers and Americans alike. Located on Broadway between Fulton and Vesey Streets in lower Manhattan, it is only one block away from the WTC site. St. Paul’s suffered virtually no damage whatsoever. The only casualty was a century old Sycamore tree which was hit by debris. The roots from that tree were made into a bronze sculpture and placed as a memorial at Trinity Church.
Last week’s trivia answer-Brooklyn
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