2806 Newkirk Ave
1900, Benjamin Driesler - 1913 additions

St. Stephen’s English Lutheran Church was formally organized in 1898, with regular services held initially at the Vanderveer Homestead. During its first year, the congregation grew exponentially, prompting plans for a permanent building.

A plot of land on the corner of Newkirk Avenue and East 28th Street was purchased in 1899, and construction began of a two-story wooden structure in the English Gothic style, which was intended as a wing of the proposed future church. The lower floor had a Sunday School room, a parlor, and a kitchen. An auditorium with seating for about 300 people was located on the upper floor. It was completed and consecrated in 1900.

By 1913, plans began to expand the building. The auditorium was made 20 feet wider, and a new structure was added to the right side for extra sitting space. The old building was moved back and new materials like limestone, stucco and brick were used “in harmony with surrounding buildings”. Photo by Julia Charles.