Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Alphonsus School

526 59th Street Franz Joseph Untersee, 1905-28
5902 Sixth Avenue 1902-03

The largest religious edifice on Long Island, the basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help occupies an entire block. The granite Romanesque Revival basilica is a “double church” with two levels for worship. The ground floor was completed in 1909 and the second floor was completed in 1928. In its early years, the parish consisted mainly of Irish congregants. Today, some Irish remain, but the congregation is largely Hispanic and Chinese. Its subsidiary buildings include the Romanesque Revival brick rectory with Gothic Revival details and terra-cotta trim, which is to the rear of the basilica, and the St. Alphonsus School on Sixth Avenue, which predates the basilica by several years. The school was designed in the Ruskinian Gothic style with fanciful beige and black brickwork, pointed-arch door and window openings and a central statue above its entry.