Bialystoker Synagogue and St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church

7-13 Bialystoker Place, 1826 – NYCIL & Nat’l Reg Property
290 Henry Street, contributed to John Heath, 1827-29 – NYCIL & Nat’l Reg Property

These two churches, located a few blocks apart, are two of the four surviving fieldstone religious structures built in the late Federal era in lower Manhattan. Their fieldstone was quarried from Mount Pitt, a hill that once stood at the present corner of Pitt and Grand Streets. Their simple exteriors give way to ornate and fascinating interiors. Bialystoker Synagogue, originally the Willett Street Methodist Episcopal Church, has a richly hued interior with statuary and paintings. A concealed corridor discovered during renovations in the 1990’s led to speculation that the building was a safe house on the Underground Railroad. St. Augustine’s, originally the All Saints’ Free Church, houses the old High Altar from Trinity Church, the Lady Altar from St. Augustine’s Chapel on East Houston, the pulpit from the demolished St. John’s Chapel in Hudson Square, and enclosures around the organ that were once designated seating for black parishioners. Both churches are New York City Individual Landmarks and listed on the State and Nation Register of Hisotric Places.

Less