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Saint Peter’s Church - National Fund For Sacred Places
2020 Cohort

Saint Peter’s Church

(Lutheran)

New York, New York

Saint Peter’s Church (SPC) is part of an early Modernist mixed-use complex that exemplifies the continual redevelopment of New York City.

Saint Peter’s Church by Beatriz Cifuentes
Saint Peter’s Church by Beatriz Cifuentes
2020 Cohort

Saint Peter’s Church

(Lutheran)

New York, New York

Saint Peter’s Church (SPC) is part of an early Modernist mixed-use complex that exemplifies the continual redevelopment of New York City.

New construction repeatedly has uprooted this congregation, which was founded by German and Irish immigrants in 1862. In the 1970s, the congregation rejected moving to the suburbs, choosing instead to relocate to a modern sanctuary beneath the new 19-story headquarters of First National Bank (later renamed Citicorp, then Citigroup Center, and now 601 Lexington). Hugh A. Stubbins designed three interlocking buildings—the church, a skyscraper, and a six-story retail and office structure—on a full New York City block, incorporating open public space in his design. The prismatic-shaped church has twin sloped roofs reaching to the sky, symbolizing hands in prayer. The church’s modular interior is the product of preeminent designers Lella and Massimo Vignelli.

Today, SPC welcomes parishioners from across New York City, New Jersey, and Long Island. The church contains an interfaith chapel designed by artist Louise Nevelson that is open daily for public prayer and meditation. SPC and its collaborators host a weekly breakfast program, an arts-based senior center, recovery meetings, legal services for immigrants, and jazz programs. SPC is a proud Sanctuary Congregation that helps protect refugees and undocumented immigrants from arrest and deportation.

With a National Fund grant of $250,000 and $500,000 in matching funds raised by the congregation, SPC will repair and restore its skylight and sanctuary roof, which have been damaged by natural wear and water infiltration. New drains will be installed, glass skylights will be reengineered, and existing framing will be made watertight. The sanctuary interior will be restored to its original clean and Modernist finish. These repairs will ensure that SPC can remain in its permanent home for decades to come.

Saint Peter’s Church courtesy Saint Peter’s Church
Saint Peter’s Church by James Beaudreau

Stories and Media Coverage

Read more about how the National Fund for Sacred Places is helping congregations around the country rehabilitate their sacred places.

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