Nation's First Monument To Soldier;
Washington Worshipped In Church
St. Paul's, where Washington worshipped, is the only surviving church in New
York of the Revolutionary era. It is also the oldest public building in continuous use in
It is home to a number of revolutionary-era treasures.
St. Paul's was completed in 1766 on what was then the northern edge of the city.
Washington came here for a special service after his inauguration on April 30, 1789. He continued to attend services at the chapel during the two years that New York served as the capital of the United States.
During the Revoluationary War, British Generals Cornwallis and Howe attended services here.
An oil painting of the Great Seal of the United States, the first rendition of the seal, hangs over Washington's pew.
The ornamental design over the alter was the work of Pierre L'Enfant, a French veteran of the revolution who designed Washington, D.C.
Royal Arms of George III are on display on the gallery of the church.
In front, there is a monument to General Richard Montgomery, a revolutionary hero who died in the Battle of Quebec. He is buried beneath the East Porch.
A memorial service was held for Washington in the chapel in 1799, along with the funeral of President James Monroe in 1831.
St. Paul's was called a chapel because it was under the authority of Trinity Church, further down Broadway. St. Paul's played such a large role in revoluationary period because Trinity was burned during the New York fire of 1776.
The patriots buried at St. Paul's include four of the original members of the Society of the Cincinnati, a patriotic organization of the officers who serverd under Washington. They are Major John Lucas and Major Job Summer, who both died of yellow fever in 1789; Lt. Col. Etienne Marie Bechet Sieur de Rochefontaine, a French officer who later commanded the artillery school at West Point; and Dr. John Francis Vacher. Other patriots include John Bailey, who forged the Washington battle sword in the Smithsonian, and John Holt, editor of the New York Gazette and New York Journal.
Address: Broadway at Fulton Street
Hours: Daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone: 212 923-8008.
Tours: Occasionally offered.
Transportation: Trains 2,3,4,5, J & M to Fulton, or A&C to Broadway/Nassau, or 1,9,R & N to Courtlandt Street; or E to World Trade Center. (From City Hall Park, cross Broadway and walk south to Chapel.)