Check out the tombstones in the Trinity Churchyard for a slice of history. Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat, are among those buried there
Found near the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway, Trinity Church is a historical and active church in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Stepping in from the sidewalk is striking: outside on Wall Street, the air is churned by traffic and throngs of people; inside, it is serenely still. Light pours in through stained glass windows and stone pillars spread up into a vaulted ceiling: it is pure gothic. It is hard to believe that such a peaceful and contemplative place could exist in the heart of New York’s financial district.
It might not be as grand as St Patrick’s Cathedral, but Trinity Church is an intimate and beautiful place of worship nonetheless. Within its ground are many memorials, including one to the unknown martyrs of the American Revolution, and also the moving Tobin sculpture, fashioned from the roots of a sycamore tree blown over during the collapse of the World Trade Centre. Indeed the church stands just blocks from the World Trade Centre, and was where policemen and fireman rested during the rescue efforts.
Third Time Lucky
There have in fact been three Trinity Churches. The first was destroyed in the Great New York City Fire of 1776, which started in the Fighting Cocks Tavern, destroying nearly 500 buildings. In 1788 the Second Trinity church was built, only to be torn down some years later after it was weakened by severe snows during the winter of 1838-39. The third and current church was built in 1846, and is still going strong.
Trinity Church is near Zuccotti park, where the Occupy Wall Street movement ignited. The church offered moral and practical support to demonstrators, for which it was criticised by some others in the Anglican movement. Trouble came their way: on Dec 17, 2011, activists, accompanied by a few clergy, attempted to occupy the church-owned Juan Pablo Duante Square. Police responded by arresting 50 demonstrators, including three Episcopal clergymen and a Roman Catholic nun. Not exactly by the book.
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