86-02 Broadway
1735, addition built in 1772

Built in 1735 at what became the southwest corner of 51st Avenue and Broadway, St. James Church is the oldest surviving building in Elmhurst, and the City’s second oldest religious building that is still standing. Chartered by King George III, it is a remarkable Colonial-era mission church that still retains its early 18th-century rectangular box-like form, wood shingle siding, round-arched windows, and heavy timber framing. In 1772, the building was lengthened and the main entry moved from the south side to the Broadway façade.


Prominent citizens associated with the parish included the Reverend Benjamin Moore, a president of Kings College (later Columbia College), and the Reverend Samuel Seabury, Jr., the first American Episcopal Bishop. It was also a place of worship for British officers and men during the Revolution.


In 1848, after a period of growth, the parish built a larger church a block away and Old Saint James Church became a chapel and later a parish hall. It was renovated and altered over the years, until 2004 when it was restored to its late 19th-century appearance. Old St. James Church is a NYC Individual Landmark and listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.