729 Carroll St
George L. Morse

Also known as The Reformed Dutch Church of the Town of Breukelen, this iconic structure is one of the staples of Park Slope’s built and cultural landscape. The congregation was founded in 1654 by Governor Pieter Stuyvesant, as one of three “collegiate churches.” As its numbers grew, the church occupied a series of buildings in the area until the congregation was subdivided. This branch, Old First, is a Neo-Gothic structure dedicated in 1891 and replaced a chapel on Carroll Street used until 1886.  The Cathedral was designed by George L. Morse, one of the borough’s most respected and successful 19th-century architects, credited with single-handedly giving early Brooklyn a skyline of its own. Although much of Morse’s work downtown was razed in the 1930s, Old First remains his only religious building and is a notable and unique example of his skills.

The church’s 212-ft spire is the tallest in Brooklyn. It is made of Indiana limestone without a wood or steel interior structure. The façade also features limestone with stained-glass windows and a solid granite foundation.

The interior was designed in the Gothic Revival style, and features work by renowned artists like Otto Heinigke, William Willet, and Tiffany Studios. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. Its restoration is on-going.