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Sacred Spaces: New York
Brooklyn Bridge: (Credit: Sophia Posnock)
We were awed by the grand series of magnificent cathedrals and cathedral-like spaces lining Fifth Avenue. Many were under a process of extensive renovation, unfortunate timing for this edition of our guide. Since most of these spaces have been featured before and are readily accessible for visitors, we chose sites more off the beaten track. We selected St. Malachy's -- The Actor's Church, which ministers to Broadway actors and stage professionals. Instead of St. Patrick's Cathedral, we chose architect James Renwick's first building, Grace Church on Broadway. Instead of Temple Emanu-El, we chose Central Synagogue and The East End Temple.
The Brotherhood Synagogue in Gramercy Square, formerly a Quaker Meeting House, seemed shyly inaccessible, tucked away behind an ironwork gate. Our visit there revealed a community actualizing a legacy of interfaith outreach and social justice instigated by their Quaker predecessors, who built a passage connecting the building with the Underground Railroad beneath Gramercy Park. This connection is also apparent in the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn -- whose abolitionist history assisted in the creation of the Emancipation Proclamation.
In addition, we bring your attention to sites that are civic in nature. The Brooklyn Bridge is a marvel of engineering and a testament to human creativity. We believe it embodies a sense of the sacred, in keeping with its designers' vision. We hope that our selections cause you to have further conversation about sacred space and encourage you to find yours in New York City.
St. Peter's Church: (Credit: Deirdre Colgan)
Download the New York City Sacred Spaces Guide
Download the New York City guide here (PDF).
Tell us about your experience on the tour or your favorite Sacred Space in New York City. Create a page in the God in America Faithbook or submit a video to WGBH Lab's Open Call, or leave us a comment below.
About Sacred Space International
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Published October 11, 2010