Church of the Holy Communion and Buildings


Church of the Holy Communion and Buildings
Church of the Holy Communion and Buildings
The buildings in 2010, as the Limelight Marketplace
Location: 656-662 6th Ave., New York, New York
Coordinates: 40°44′28″N 73°59′40″W / 40.74111°N 73.99444°W / 40.74111; -73.99444Coordinates: 40°44′28″N 73°59′40″W / 40.74111°N 73.99444°W / 40.74111; -73.99444
Area: less than one acre
Built: 1844
Architect: Richard Upjohn
Architectural style: Gothic Revival
Governing body: Private
NRHP Reference#: 80002680[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP: April 17, 1980
Designated NYCL: 1966

The Church of the Holy Communion and Buildings are historic Episcopal church buildings at 656-662 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) at West 20th Street in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, New York City.

The church is a New York City landmark, designated in 1966,[2] and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It is located within New York City's Ladies' Mile Historic District.

Contents

History

The Gothic Revival church building was constructed in 1844-1845 according to a design by Richard Upjohn, and was consecrated in 1846.[3] In 1853 Upjohn completed the Parish House and Rectory on West 20th Street, and in 1854 he built the Sister's House.[2][3] The design of the church, which features brownstone blocks chosen for placement at random,[3] made the church "one of the most influential buildings of the 19th century".[2] It was:

[the] first asymmetrical Gothic Revival church edifice in the United States ... Upjohn designed the building to resemble a small medieval English parish church ... The church's founder, the Reverend William Muhlenberg, a leader of the evangelical Catholic within the Episcopal Church, was closely involved with the design ...[2]

Muhlenberg believed that the Gothic style was "the true architectural expression of Christianity."[3]

At the time it was built, the neighborhood around the church was still a fashionable residential area, with homes lining Sixth Avenue.[3] By the late 19th century, as the city continued to expand uptown, the area had become part of the "Ladies' Mile" shopping district, with Sixth Avenue lined with giant department stores and dry goods emporia, which by World War I had all either moved uptown or closed.

By the 1970s, with the city at the depth of its financial problems, the neighborhood was virtually abandoned, being neither residential nor retail, excepting some car dealerships. In 1975 the declining parish merged with those of Calvary Church, on Park Avenue South at East 21st Street, and St. George's Church, at Stuyvesant Square, and the combined parish of Calvary-St. Seorge's sold the Church of the Holy Communion to Odyssey House, a drug rehabilitation program, in order to meet its fiscal obligations.[4][3] Odyssey House, in turn, sold the buildings to nightclub entrepreneur Peter Gatien, who opened the New York Limelight club there in 1983.

Nightclub

From 1983 until 2007, the church was utilized as a nightclub, The Limelight. After frequent problems with the police and charges of rampant drug abuse in the club, it was closed, but reopened in 2003 under the name "Avalon". It closed permanently in 2007.

Marketplace

On May 7, 2010, the building was reopened as a retail mall called the Limelight Marketplace. Conceived by Jack Menashe, who formerly owned SoHo retail store Lounge, James Mansour of Mansour Design, and Melisca Klisanin, Creative Director, the marketplace is a three-story venue consisting of more than 60 small, high-end shops, selling jewelry, clothing, organic goods and other items.[5] It was promoted with a campaign which utilized advertisements on local buses, taxicabs, and billboards.[6][7]

See also

References

Notes

External links


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