GRACE CHURCH, set in the bend at Tenth street and closing the vista from the south, is one of the most familiar and most highly cherished of the landmarks of Broadway. It is a beautiful structure of white limestone, with marble spire, in the Decorated Gothic, and was designed by James Renwick, the architect of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Clustered about the church is a group of buildings, which are harmonious with it in design; even the high wall of the business building adjoining has been made to comport with the rest, and all these, with the rectory yard with its lawn and shrubbery, make a picture very grateful to thousands of eyes every day.
The Grace Church door is always open, and to turn from the bustle of Broadway into the hush of the aisles is like finding the shelter of a great rock where the uproar of the wind is stilled. The interior is rich in sculptured decoration, and the memorial windows are exquisite examples of stained glass. The great chancel window has for its subject the Te Deum; in the transepts are the Saints, and the Patriarchs and Prophets.
The altar and reredos were given by Miss Catherine L. Wolfe. The porch is a memorial, and so is each one of the ten bells of the chimes in the tower; the great bell bears the name of Rev. Thomas House Taylor, for thirty-three years the rector. The rectory is connected with the church by Grace House, in which are the vestry and clergy rooms and a library and reading room; on the south is the Chantry, where a week-day afternoon service is held. Grace House and the Chantry were given by Miss Wolfe. In the rear is the Grace Memorial House, given by Hon. Levi P. Morton, in memory of his wife; a day nursery for small children is maintained here. In the rectory yard the great terra cotta vase was brought from Rome, where it was discovered 40 feet below the surface in excavations for St. Paul's Church.
The sun dial has a pedestal fashioned from two of the pinnacles of Grace Church as first built at Broadway and Rector street in 1809. The present edifice was completed in 1846. A tablet in the right entrance records that the church stands on ground which was owned by Henry Brevoort (died 1841), who had derived it in unbroken descent from the earliest colonists of the New Netherlands. It was this Henry Brevoort who in 1836 pre-vented the cutting through of Eleventh street from Broadway to Fourth avenue; his house stood in the line of the proposed street, and he successfully resisted the projected opening. The bend in Broadway at this point was caused by a deflection of the street to meet the old-time junction of the Bowery and the Bloomingdale road at a point now at Broad-way and Seventeenth street.
On the south of the building is Grace Church Open Air Pulpit, over-looking the Huntington Close, a bit of greensward and garden, dedicated to the memory of Rev. Dr. William R. Huntington, who was for many years rector. Services are held here every Wednesday at 12:30 P. M., to which the public is invited.
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