Brick Church


The Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City has been in operation since 1767. It was an expansion of the First Presbyterian Church at Wall Street. In the late 18th century it was called "New Presbyterian Meeting", according to a watercolor by Robertson, drawn in 1798. Brick Church was so named for the material with which it was built.

The first temple was built on the block formed by Park Row, Beekman and Nassau Streets (see a map below), between 1766 and 1768. It was consecrated on January 1, 1768. The steeple was added in 1794. In 1809, the Church became a separate and incorporated entity as The Brick Presbyterian Church in the City of New York.

A two-story brick house was erected, in 1832, in the rear for the Trustees of the Church, and extended in 1840. This facility was occupied, in 1846, by Baker and Scribner (later Charles Scribner and Co.) as church's tenant.

The Beekman Street property was sold in 1856. The congregation met for the last time in the old Brick Church, on May 25th, the same year. The temple and the brick house were then demolished. The site was occupied by The New York Times Building and by the World Building (later Potter Building).

The second temple was built on Murray Hill, Fifth Avenue and 37th Street. The Church moved in 1858 as the temple was dedicated on 31st October. The spire was 250 feet high and the old bell was on it. In 1937, Brick Church merged with Park Avenue Presbyterian Church located at Park Avenue and 85th Street. This temple is now occupied by Park Avenue Christian Church. In 1938, the second temple of Brick Church was demolished. A new building was erected on the site, demolished in 1984. Now there is a 30-story tower on the site.

The cornerstone to the third and present temple, at Park Avenue and 91st Street, was laid on November 25, 1938. The old bell was again moved to the new spire. The new temple was completed in 1940 and opened on April 14, the same year.


Brick Church


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Churches NY


Above, location of the old Brick Presbyterian Church, which faced Beekman Street, in a fragment of a map by William Perris, 1852. The New York Times Building was erected on the same site in 1857.


The old temple demolished in 1856, "from an oil painting in the possession of the church", as published in 1909 in A History of the Brick Presbyterian Church by Shepherd Knapp.


New Brick Church


City New York


First temple of the Brick Presbyterian Church seen from Park Row, 1800. Illustration (cropped) from The New York Public Library.


Old Brich Church


Brick Church 19th century


Old Brick Church Demolition


Illustration about 1856 showing the Old Brick Church and City Hall.


Brick Church Fifth Avenue


Brick Church NYC


Brick Presbyterian Church


Park Row and the old Brick Church in an illustration published in 1849.


Park Row


Copyright © Geographic Guide - Vintage photographs of NYC.


Antique photographs




Brick Church