Church of the Holy Trinity

316 East 88th Street
Barney & Chapman
NYC Individual Landmark, National Register of Historic Places

The Church of the Holy Trinity complex—including church, parish house and parsonage—was sponsored by Serena Rhinelander in memory of her father (William C. Rhinelander) and grandfather (William Rhinelander). The property was once part of William Rhinelander’s 72-acre farm. The parish was established when the neighborhood church and mission of St. James joined with Holy Trinity Church, formerly of Midtown. Completed in 1897, this complex is an outstanding example of Gothic Revival architecture, clad in golden-hued Roman brick and terra cotta with a brownstone-like color and texture. The buildings’ impressive towers, turrets, chimney stacks and spires evoke a French Renaissance style château. St. Christopher’s House was the first building completed, and served neighborhood youth as a clubhouse, recreation center and kindergarten. The architects Barney & Chapman had earlier designed the French Gothic-inspired Grace Mission complex that still stands at 14th Street and First Avenue for Serena’s nephew; though more modest in scale than Holy Trinity, it was a clear precedent. If Holy Trinity is open, it is well worth a look inside.