St. Bart’s is delighted to take part in the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s 2017 Sacred Sites Open House. We will offer guided tours and tours of the church and organ on Saturday, May 20 11 am to 2 pm and Sunday, May 21 from 12:15 pm to 4 pm.
Saturday, May 20
11:30 AM 10-15 minute organ demo, followed by tour.
12:30 PM 10-15 minute organ demo, followed by tour.
1:30 PM 10-15 minute organ demo, followed by tour.
Sunday, May 21
12:15 PM tour
1:15 PM tour
2:15 PM tour
(No organ demos on Sunday)
The New York Times calls St. Bartholomew’s Church, built in 1918, “one of [architect] Bertram Goodhue’s masterpieces, a complex tapestry of brick, stone, mosaic and tile.” You will enter the church from Park Avenue through the magnificent triple portal designed by McKim, Mead & White in 1903. Parishioner Alice Vanderbilt commissioned Stanford White to create the portal in memory of her late husband, Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The portal originally graced the entry of St. Bartholomew’s previous building at Madison Avenue and 44th Street before being moved to the current location.
Inside the front door, look up at the gold domed ceiling with delicate mosaics by the pioneering Art Deco artist Hildreth Meiere. Her work is also visible in the grand mosaic of the Transfiguration in the apse, which will come into view when walking from the narthex (church lobby) into the church proper.
As you move toward the front of the church, above to your right you will see the stunning 24-foot-wide wheel window, also known as the rose window or Sanctus window. Created in 1943 from traditional medieval “pot metal” glass, the window was designed by Reynolds, Francis and Rohnstock. The Sanctus window's panels are rich in symbolism. Learn about the figures and stories depicted here and elsewhere in the church’s stained glass, mosaics, and bronze: St. Bartholomew’s Art and Architecture.
See the links below for more history and photos, and please plan to visit during the Sacred Sites Open House on Saturday, May 21.
- A brief history of St. Bart’s
- Detailed architectural history from the American Guild of Organists (as well as information on our Aeolian-Skinner organ, the largest in Manhattan).
- Breathtaking photos of the Sanctus window as well as stained glass in the church and chapel by photographer Kent Becker
- “If These Walls Could Talk, They’d Say Her Name: The Forgotten Art Deco Artist Hildreth Meiere” (New York Times, 1 May 2014)
This year marks the 31st anniversary of the Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites program – the only state-wide initiative in the country to address the unique needs of historic religious buildings. St. Bart’s is pleased to join the Conservancy in celebrating the diversity of New York's houses of worship.