The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.
Top Left: Martha J. Lamb, History of the City of New York: its origin, rise and progress, Volume 2, 1877, pg. 572. Retrieved from www.archive.org
Top Right: Percy Rivington Pyne, The Notable Percy R. Pyne 2D. Collection, 1912. PL 212.
Bottom Left: I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, PL122. Retrieved from www.archive.org
Bottom Right: Image courtesy of the NYPL.
Trinity Church has anchored the head of Wall Street for more than 300 years. Completed in 1846, today's Trinity is the third church built on the site. The first, seen in the top left image, was granted a charter in 1697 by King George III and held its first service in 1698. It was a modest rectangular structure with a small porch and a steeple that faced the Hudson River, away from Broadway and Wall Street. This first Trinity burned in the great fire of 1776, leaving a ruined pile that was demolished and rebuilt as the second Trinity in 1790. Seen in the bottom left image, the new church was oriented with its entrance and steeple towards Wall Street. This simple building lasted only fifty years before a heavy snowfall in the winter of 1838-39 damaged the roof byond repair, and it was demolished.
The current 19th-century edifice by architect Richard Upjohn is considered a classic of Gothic Revival architecture. Faced in brownstone, the new Trinity Church featured a 281-foot (86 m) bell tower that was the tallest building in the city until 1890 when the World Building rose 310 above City Hall Park and launched the rise of the commercial skyline. Trinity Churchyard, the adjacent cemetery at Wall Street and Broadway, opened in1697, and is the final resting place of many historical personages such as Alexander Hamilton. Preserving valuable open space in the highly developed financial district, the cemetery and the church are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the church was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.