Church of St. Ignatius Loyola

980 Park Avenue
parish hall/rectory: Patrick C. Keely, 1881-83
church: Schickel & Ditmars, 1895-1900, NYC IL
school: Schickel & Ditmars, 1899-1900 – NYC HD, NR-P, NR-D

One of the first institutions on Fourth Avenue was the parish of St. Lawrence O’Toole, which initially acquired property on both sides of the railroad tracks at East 84th Street. Its first building was erected in 1854. The parish, later incorporated as St. Ignatius Loyola (founder of the Jesuits in 1541), expanded in the 1880s, beginning with the construction of a four-story parish house and residence hall. The church itself was designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival, in homage to the architecture that was popular during St. Ignatius’ lifetime. It was one of the first houses of worship in the city to use steel roof beams and trusses for fireproofing. Its two upper towers were never realized. In 1899, the Loyola School was established to educate the sons of wealthy Catholics (it became co-educational in 1973), for which the limestone building at the corner of East 83rd Street was built.