St. Aloysius Catholic Church (New York City)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coordinates: 40°48′49.8″N 73°56′44.43″W / 40.813833°N 73.9456750°W / 40.813833; -73.9456750

St. Aloysius Catholic Church
St. Aloysius Catholic Church 209 West 132nd Street from west.jpg
General information
Location209-217 West 132nd Street
Manhattan, New York City
Construction started1902 (church);[1]
Cost$60,000 (church);[1]
$60,000 (school)[1]
ClientRoman Catholic Archdiocese of New York[1]
Technical details
Structural systemMasonry
Design and construction
ArchitectWilliam W. Renwick (1902 church);[1]
Starret & Van Vleck & Purdy & Henderson (1940 school)[1]

The St. Aloysius Catholic Church[2] is a Roman Catholic parish church in the Archdiocese of New York, located at 209-217 West 132nd Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1902-04 and was designed by William W. Renwick – the nephew of James Renwick Jr. – in the Italian Gothic Revival style.[3] It has been called a "little-known treasure".[4]

The church was designated a New York City Landmark on January 30, 2007.[5]

History and description[edit]

The St. Aloysius congregation was established in 1899 and has been staffed by the Jesuit Fathers, of which Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was himself a member.[6] The congregation was originally primarily German, Irish and Italian immigrants and their families.[3] The current congregation is primarily African American, and gospel music is utilized in the services.[4]

The brick church designed by Renwick has an "usually intricate facade, with colorful bands of red brick, celadon glazed bricks and polychrome terra cotta,"[3] creating "an evocative and delicate facade."[7] Sculpted reliefs on the depict Christ, the Holy Family and two angels.[3] The overall design compares favorably to Renwick's All Saints Church on East 129th Street,[4] and may have been inspired by Renwick's travels in Italy before joining his uncle's firm.[7]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Office for Metropolitan History, "Manhattan NB Database 1900-1986" (Accessed 25 December 2010).
  2. ^ This is the name of the church according to the information board attached to the building
  3. ^ a b c d New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2009). Postal, Matthew A. (ed.). Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1. p.203
  4. ^ a b c Dunlap, David W. (2004). From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12543-7., p.188
  5. ^ Shockley, Jay."St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church Designation Report" New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (January 30, 2007)
  6. ^ Remigius Lafort, S.T.D., Censor, The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X. Volume 3: The Province of Baltimore and the Province of New York, Section 1: Comprising the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn, Buffalo and Ogdensburg Together with some Supplementary Articles on Religious Communities of Women.. (New York City: The Catholic Editing Company, 1914), p.310.
  7. ^ a b White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot & Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19538-386-7. p.540

External links[edit]