Discovering the Church of the Holy Trinity was one of those accidental finds unique to New York City. Wandering up from Carl Schurz Park, I picked 88th Street instead of the busier 86th. But I wasn’t expecting anything special. Until it found me, catching my eye as I walked by.
By David Stone
Church of the Holy Trinity
It just caught my eye, this peaceful, parklike church complex on a densely populated block on East 88th Street.
Something told me to take a closer look. That’s when I found the carved wooden figures all around the door.
How much work did that require? And who had the money for it?
The answer was nearby: Serena Rhinelander. But I also found that my little find was landmarked.
Serena Rhinelander, it turns out, came from one of the seven wealthiest families in 18th Century New York. Unmarried, but known as a shrewd businesswoman with a strong inclination toward charity. (Read about the family here.)
The Wichita Eagle suggested her sister as “the richest spinster in America,” and never married either.
But she was not shy or retiring either. Both threw parties and gave “immensely” to charity.
Serena died in the family home on Washington Square, fifteen years after this church was consecrated.
More from Assorted Ideas, Large & Small
- Not just Billy Joel, everyone’s in a New York State of Mind. Listen.NYCNext corrals the best New York City voices, from rap to Broadway, across the spectrum, in a New York State of Mind… singing celebration of love. I’ve literally got nothing to add. […]
- Is it just about fares, now? MTA tries bringing subway riders backThe MTA wants to bring subway riders back, but if it’s just about the fares, a rocky road lies ahead. How well can the agency handle rejection? by David Stone Special to […]
- Only in New York, il laboratorio del gelato, best in the universeIl laboratorio del gelato opened in 2002, but it’s hard to understand how New York City kept going before the perfect Italian ice cream stitched it all together. By David Stone Special […]
- New York City: It’s more than just the cherry blossoms…Although photographers are flocking around them, and pictures are shared by the thousands, New York City’s more than just cherry blossoms. Here’s what we found yesterday in Carl Schurz Park in Yorkville, […]
- Only in New York: Is it art or humor on E 86th Street in Manhattan, flowers and traffic cones?Only in New York, on 86th Street in Manhattan, was it art or some playful good humor? Here’s the scene on East 86th Street in Manhattan.
Categories: Assorted Ideas