Bowne Street Community Church, Queens
Address: 143-11 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing
LPC Action: Calendared for a Public Hearing in 2003, but never heard.
LPC Backlog Hearing: Prioritized for designation
Designated - December 13, 2016
The Bowne Street Community Church stands out as a shining star in Flushing, a neighborhood that has changed dramatically over the years. The church was originally built for the Reformed Dutch Church of Flushing, established in 1842. To accommodate the congregation’s rapid growth, this new church building was completed in 1892, designed in the Romanesque Revival style of red brick, with arches topping each of the windows and intricate brickwork and terra cotta details. The church is adorned with stained glass windows manufactured by the Tiffany Glass Company of Corona and designed by Agnes Fairchild Northrup, a colleague of Louis Comfort Tiffany and a life-long member of the church. The eastern annex, designed to match the existing architecture, was added in 1925. In 1974, the congregation merged with the First Congregational Church of Flushing to form the Bowne Street Community Church.
LPC Statement of Significance:
The Bowne Street Community Church is home to the combined congregations of the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Flushing (1842) and the First Congregational Church of Flushing (1851). The two churches merged in 1970, but, tragically, the 1856 Congregational Church burned on Christmas Eve that year, even as the two congregations were at a dinner celebrating their union.
Dedicated in 1892, the Bowne Street Community Church is a Romanesque Revival Style, red brick edifice, with arches topping each of the windows and intricate brickwork and terra cotta tile details contributing to the handsome appearance. The Romanesque style is carried out in the bell tower spire which dominates the corner. In 1925 a red brick addition provided room for classrooms, offices, and a social hall.
What makes this church particularly worthy is the set of original stained glass windows created by the Louis Tiffany Glass Company in Corona. They were designed by Agnes Fairchild Northrup (1857-1953), a long time Tiffany artist and a life-long member of the congregation. This unique and exceptional church deserves to be experienced with sunlight illuminating the Tiffany windows.
photo credit: Dan Rubin