January 31, 2016

Photo Essay: Trinity Church & Churchyard

When you talk about "Trinity Church" in Lower Manhattan, you're not just talking about one church.

It's a conglomeration of churches and their respective cemeteries—plus 18 commercial buildings that occupy six million square feet of space, making Trinity the biggest landowner in Manhattan.

But there is one singular church that's actually called "Trinity Church"...

...whose current structure, consecrated in 1846, is the third Trinity Church to have been built on the site.

in 1697, the Church of England purchased land in Lower Manhattan, and King William III chartered the Trinity Church parish. In 1705, Queen Anne of Great Britain granted even more land to their holdings—which the church has managed to keep for over three centuries.

Trinity Church figures significantly in recent history, too—as a place where people sought refuge after the first World Trade Center tower collapsed on 9/11. Because of that, it's part of the pilgrimage that people make when they come Downtown to see the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero (now the North and South Pools) and the Freedom Tower.

But you can escape the crowds—especially on a blustery day—outside in the Trinity Churchyard.

Unlike the Trinity Cemetery & Mausoleum in Upper Manhattan, this is no longer an active cemetery... there's no hope of being buried alongside such historical figures as Alexander Hamilton (or his wife or mistress).

Who else has been laid to rest there?

It's hard to tell.

It's not for lack of maintenance or care.

It's just the passage of time.

After all, compared to California, New York is so old.

Sites like this are an endangered species in the Big Apple...

...which is probably why they'd prefer you stay off the grass, away from the headstones, and on the path.

Of course, in addition to its tourist traffic, Trinity Church itself still has an active Episcopal congregation, with regular mass services and church bells that clang when the Wall Street traders have gone home...the stock markets have closed...and the bull has gone to sleep.

Related Posts:

Photo Essay: Climbing to the Top of The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Photo Essay: Brooklyn's Most Holy Trinity Church, Sanctuary & Triforium, Haunted
Photo Essay: Brooklyn's Haunted German Cathedral - Clock Tower, Crypt & Rathskeller

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