Church of Saint Catherine of Genoa

506 West 153rd Street
Thomas H. Poole

Founded in 1887 by the Archdiocese of New York, the Parish of Saint Catherine, which originally stretched from West 145th to 161st Streets between Saint Nicholas Place and the Hudson River, held services in a temporary location before constructing this church on West 153rd Street in 1889. Initially serving a population of predominantly first- and second-generation Irish immigrants, the church has evolved with the surrounding community and now holds masses in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. From 1910 to 2006, the Sisters of Mercy operated a parochial school located within the church until the completion of an annex at 508 West 153rd Street in 1938. The church was designed with elements of both Flemish and Gothic style architecture. The Flemish influence can be seen in the stepped central gable and use of dark red brick, while the two pointed arch windows with elaborate tracery flanking a bracketed entryway are typical of Gothic architecture. Architect Thomas Poole designed a number of eclectic churches, including the Harlem Presbyterian Church in the Mount Morris Park Historic District.