Church of the Transfiguration

1 East 29th Street
(church: 1849; guildhall, transept and tower: 1852; lich-gate: Frederick C. Withers, 1896; Lady Chapel: 1906; Mortuary Chapel: 1908; rectory: c. 1849-50)

Church of the Transfiguration, known since the 1870s as “The Little Church Around the Corner,” is made up of several Gothic Revival style buildings, all of red brick with brownstone trim. The church is accessible through a small lich-gate, one of the site’s most striking features, and a gift from Mrs. Franklin Hughes Delano (great aunt of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) in 1896. The lich-gate, a common feature of English churches, was originally meant to provide a covered place for pallbearers to rest coffins while waiting for the priest to arrive for funeral services (“lich” is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning body or corpse). The church’s main entrance is within the tower, which features Gothic arches and a peaked roof with dormer windows and a cross at its crown. To the west of the tower is the rectory building, a five-story, Gothic Revival structure with a mansard roof and an octagonal extension with a full-height, projecting, wooden window bay, an ornate cast-iron balcony and Gothic panels on the third floor.

The Church of the Transfiguration were designated a New York City Landmark in 1967, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.