- St. Rose of Lima's Old Church (New York City)
(The Old) Church of St. Rose of Lima General information Architectural style Gothic Revival Town or city Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, New York Country United States Construction started 1868 (for chapel)
1870 (for church) / July 31, 1870 (for church cornerstone)
Completed February 9, 1868 (for temporary chapel)
April 23, 1871 (for church)
1894 (for school)
Demolished July 1901 (for 1871 church) Cost $96,000 (for 1871 church--as reported in 1896)
$150,000 (for 1871 church--as reported in 1900)
$25,000 (for 1894 school, as reported in 1896)
$70,000 (for 1894 school, as reported in 1900)
Technical details Structural system Brick masonry with freestone trim Design and construction Client Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
The Old Church of St. Rose of Lima is a former Roman Catholic parish church under the authority of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located at 36 Cannon Street between Broome Street & Delancey Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. The rectory was located at 42 Cannon Street; the school was located at 290 Delancey Street. The 1871 church was described by the New York Times when it opened in 1871, as one of the finest churches in the city. The church was demolished around July 1901 and the site redeveloped in conjunction with the erection of the Williamsburg Bridge (1903) and public housing. A new church was begun shortly after property was purchased in July 1900 at Grand and Lewis Streets. The parish closed in the 1960s.
The parish of St. Rose of Lima was established in 1868 out of the parish of St. Mary's Church (Manhattan) to relieve the overcrowded conditions there by that parish's assistant and acting pastor, the Rev. Michael McKenna. Fr. McKenna opened a small chapel on February 9, 1868.
A number of the prelates attached to St. Rose's p[arish went onto distinguished ecclesiastical careers. Rev. McKenna was an Irish prelate who first visited the U.S. to collect money for church building; he was also known to have had ties to Irish nationalism. Pastor McKenna remained here until his death in 1875, temporarily succeeded by the Rev. Patrick J. Daly, and then by the Rev. Richard Brennan later that year until he was transferred to the Church of the Holy Innocents (New York City). Thereafter, the Rev. Edward McGinley, who for many years had been assistant pastor became pastor in 1890, succeeded by the Rev. Peter McNamee, who in 1914 was assisted by the Revs. Francis J. Heaney and Christopher B. Dunlevy St. Rose's was the first New York City posting of the Rev. John J. Boyle, founding pastor of St. Luke's Church (Bronx, New York) after a stint in Goshen, New York. As reported in 1914, the parish "Catholic population numbers about 3,500, and the church property is valued at $300,000, with no debt."
The church had strong ties to Ireland and Irish politics. Apart from its first pastor, the New York Times reported in 1886 that the church had raised $800 to assist the Irish national leader Charles Stewart Parnell, who was then just beginning to deal with the divorce scandal that would cost him his political career and force him to live in exile. Parnell was abandoned by the Irish church but remained very popular with lay Irish Catholics. Here in New York, lay Irish Catholics held the fundraiser for him in the church, itself.
Among the many colorful events in the social history of the parish was the attachment of the Young Men's Catholic Society, led by the Rev. Dr. Brennan, pastor, which in 1886 was reported to have had a picnic disrupted by misbehaved youths.
Construction of the Williamsburg Bridge, which opened in 1903, destroyed much of the original parish's housing, including the church, rectory, and school. As early as the 1890s, it was assumed that the parish would be merged back into that of St. Mary's. The uncertainty of the parish's survival led in 1905 to a newly established uptown parish on West 165th Street being also dedicated to St. Rose of Lima. Hence, after 1905, St. Rose of Lima's Church (Manhattan) referred to the new parish at West 165th Street, and this parish was simply known as St. Rose's, or Old St. Rose's. The renaming seemed to indicate that the original parish was likely to be disbanded or perhaps even that this was a foregone conclusion. Before the new uptown parish was built, please to rebuild the displaced parish church were begun in July 1900 with the purchase of property at nearby at Grand and Lewis Streets, still named St. Rose of Lima (until the uptown parish was founded), which continued throughout the early to mid twentieth century.
This rebuilt parish church continued to operate until finally closing in the 1960s. The parish records are held at St. Mary's.
Services were originally held in a small chapel erected on the site an in use from 1868 to 1871. The Rev. Michael McKenna and the Rev. William Starrs, Vicar General, laid the cornerstone for a larger church on the adjoining lot July 31, 1870, which was dedicated April 23, 1871 by Archbishop John McCloskey in the name of St. Rose of Lima. The church reportedly cost $96,000 and had a seating capacity of 1,300, as was reported in 1896. The cost of the structure and seating capacity increased to $150,000 and 2,000 as reported in 1900. This was perhaps influenced by increased value or inflated figures for the relocation restitution (a similar increase is reported for the school).
The Rev. Hecker preached the first sermon in the church during the dedication, extolling "the church, he said, was not merely the brick and mortar of which it was composed by it was symbolical of that Church which should exist in the hearts of every true Christian." The New York Times thoroughly described the 1871 church the year it opened: "The new edifice is 120 feet by 70 feet, and 85 feet from floor to dome, and is capable of seating 1,500 persons. The interior is constructed in the pure Gothic style. On either side the roof is supported by a line of tall Gothic columns, which are joined together by high Gothic arches. The windows are of stained glass, the contributions of individual members of the congregation. The altar is built of Caen stone, and is one of the handsomest in the city. Over the altar there are two stained glass windows, one bearing the representations of St. Rose and St. Columbkill, and the other St. Patrick and St. Bridget. ON the right of the high altar there is an altar devoted to St. Joseph, over which there is a large window, bearing his image, while on the left of a similar altar and window commemorates the Virgin Mary. The interior of the chancel is beautifully decorated, and the columns on either side, supporting the arch, contain Gothic niches, in which are statues of Joseph and Mary. The pews are of walnut and oak, ornamented with satin-wood, and the beautify of the design and finish harmonizes well with the entire interior, which is hardly equaled by any church in the City. The exterior of the building is of a composite style, and is built of brick, which ornaments of free-stone. On the north-west corner there is to be a tall steeple, which when completed, will be 160 feet, in height." A nearby schoolhouse, on Cannon Street, fronting Delancy Street, was completed in 1894 and cost $25,000.
As reported in 1896, the church and school, which were referred to as neighborhood "landmarks," were to be demolished to make way for the new East River Bridge development (the initial name of what became the Williamsburg Bridge), which intended to clear "nearly all of the buildings in the blocks below Delancey Street between the East River and Clinton Street." "The schoolhouse, which was built in comparatively recent years, will also have to be torn down." The parish was expected to be merged with St. Mary's during this turmoil. The structures were still there by the end of the century, as when Father McGinley celebrated his Silver Jubilee in 1898 at the Cannon Street church, which listed a procession as starting from the school hall at 290 Delancey Street.
Due to the imminent demolition caused by the Williamsburg Bridge, the Trustees of the Church of St. Rose de Lima, purchased property in July of 1900 at Grand and Lewis Streets for $58,000. It was reported that "ground for the erection of a handsome new edifice, to cost not less than $100,000, will be broken within a fortnight.” Figures cited in that article regarding the predecessor church differ dramatically (more than double) from the original reported cost of the same structures in contemporary newspaper accounts. The substantial increases either reflect an increased number value attributed to inflation, or inflated value of the property by assessing authorities for restitution. The 1871 church was demolished around July 1901.
The stretch of Cannon Street that the 1871 church occupied is the only remaining section of Cannon Street extant, after the development of the Williamsburg Bridge (opened 1903). Apart from high-rise housing, the site also includes the elegantly detailed Beaux-Arts PS-110 building, constructed after the redevelopment of the area.
St. Rose of Lima Parish School
Plans for a parochial school were begun as early as 1887, with meetings and fund-raising held in the basement of the church. The first school building was built 1894, and located on Canon Street. The school hall of the structure was located at 290 Delancey Street.
- Rev. Michael McKenna (1868-1875)
- Rev. Patrick J. Daly (1875-1875), temporary administrator
- Rev. Dr. Richard Brennan (1875-1890), until his transfer to Church of the Holy Innocents (New York City)
- Rev. Edward McGinley (1890-c.1910), who for many years had been assistant here, Rev. Michael G. Doran was transferred here (presumably as assistant) in 1904
- Rev. Peter McNamee (c.1910-?), who in 1914 was assited by the Revs. Francis J. Heaney and Christopher B. Dunlevy
- Rev. Joseph I. Norris (?-1930), transferred to the Church of the Sacred Heart
- ^ a b c d e "A New Catholic Church; Dedication Ceremonies at the St. Rose of Lima Church," New York Times, Apr 24, 1871. Excerpt: "The new Roman Catholic Church of St. Rose of Lima, on Cannon-street, near Delancey, was dedicated yesterday morning by Archbishop McCloskey, in the presence of a large number of persons. For some time past the Catholic population on the east side of the City have felt the need of a church capable of accommodating an extensive congregation."
- ^ a b David W. Dunlap, From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship (New York City: Columbia University Press, 2004).
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Remigius Lafort, S.T.D., Censor, The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X. Volume 3: The Province of Baltimore and the Province of New York, Section 1: Comprising the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn, Buffalo and Ogdensburg Together with some Supplementary Articles on Religious Communities of Women.. (New York City: The Catholic Editing Company, 1914), p.369.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Landmarks to be Removed. Church and School Sites Needed for New East River Bridge Approach.". New York Times. Sep 21, 1896. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F30910F6395F1B738DDDA80A94D1405B8685F0D3. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- ^ a b "A New East-Side Catholic Church," New York Times, Jul 31, 1870. Excerpt: “Rev. Dr. STARRS, Vicar-General of this Archdiocese, will lay the corner-stono of the new Church of St. Rose of Lima, at 51/2 P. M. today. The new edifice is to be erected in Cannonstreet, between Broomo and Rivington. It will have a frontage ou Cannon-street of 68 foot, will be 125 feet in depth, and 85 feet high from the street level to the peal of the gable.”
- ^ a b "Distinguished Prelates at St. Rose’s: Bishop Michaud Celebrates Mass-Archbishop Corrigan Blesses a School," New York Times, Sep 10, 1894. “Pontifical high mass was celebrated In the Church of St. Rose of Lima, In Cannon Street, yesterday, by the Right Rev. J. S. Michaud, coadjutor to Bishop De Goesbriand of Burlington, Vermont. His assistants were the Revs. N.J. Hughes and T. P. McLaughlin, deacons of honor; the Very Rev. William Penny, Dean of Newburg, assistant priest; the Rev. Joseph Campbell, deacon of mass, and the Rev. Patrick E. Fitzsimmons, sub-deacon of the mass. “On the Gospel side of the altar was a throne, which was occupied by Archbishop Corrigan. His deacons of honor were Vicar General Farley and the Rev. John Kearney, pastor of the old St. Patrick’s Cathedral. “Vicar-General Mooney, pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart, was the preacher. He referred to the good that the parochial schools were doing in the city as well as throughout the State. Father Mooney urged his hearers to send their children to the parochial schools, where, he said, the religious instruction they would receive was far more important than the secular instruction they could receive in the public schools. “Archbishop Corrigan, assisted by Bishop Michaud and a number of priest, at 4 PM blessed the new school attached to the church, which will be opened in about a month.”
- ^ a b "St Rose Church’s Last High Mass", New York Times, Jun 10, 1901. Article: “Solemn, high mass was celebrated ably for the last time yesterday morning at St. Rose of Lima's Roman Catholic Church, Cannon Street, as the church building is to be torn down next month to make way for the approach of the new East River Bridge. The celebrant of the mass was the Rev. Father Andrew L. Sweney, who was ordained on Saturday, June 1, at the University of Buffalo.”
- ^ a b c "Police After Bridegroom: Capt. Stanley of Philadelphia Accused of Embezzlement.: New Church of St. Rose de Lima", New York Times, Jul 30, 1900. Excerpt: “The Trustees of the Church of St. Rose de Lima, on Cannon Street, which will soon be torn down to make way for the approach of the new East River Bridge, have signed the contract for the purchase of property at Grand and Lewis Streets. The price paid was $58,000. Ground for the erection of a handsome new edifice, to cost not less than $100,000, will be broken within a fortnight.”
- ^ a b "New Bridge Takes Church Site," New York Times, Mar 31, 1900. Article: “The Catholic Church of St. Rose of Lima, In Cannon Street with its rectory and parochial school, will to make way for the new East River Bridge. The church authorities have been asked by the Bridge Commissioners to place an estimate on the value of the property. The church was built by Father Michael McKenna and was dedicated on April 23, 1871 by Archbishop McCloskey. Its costs was $150,000. It has a seating capacity of 2,000. The parochial school, which cost $70,000, fronts on Delancey Street and has 700 pupils. Father McGinley is the rector.”
- ^ The World Almanac 1892 and Book of Facts (New York: Press Publishing, 1892), p.390.
- ^ a b c "Father Larkin's Successor," New York Times, January 13, 1891 (Retrieved 20 May 2011); Excerpt: "Dr. Richard Brennan, who for twenty years has been of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Rose of Lima on Cannon Street, has been transferred to the Church of St Rose of Lima, on Cannon Street, has been transferred to the Church of the Holy Innocents on West Thirty-seventh Street, to fill the vacancy caused by the recent death of the Rev. John Larkin. Dr. Brennan is a native of this city and graduate of St. Francis Xavier's College. He made his theological studies at St. John's College, Fordham, and was ordained by Archbishop Hughes in 1857. Dr. Brennan will be succeeded in the pastorate of the Church of St. Rose of Lima by the Rev. Edward T. McGinley, who is also a graduate of St. Francis Xavier's College. He was formerly pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart at Highland Falls."
- ^ “Father Boyle was born in New York City, educated at Fordham University, and ordained at St. Joseph's Seminary. His first charge was as assistant at Goshen, then at St. Rose's and St. Joseph's, New York City, and then was acting rector at St. Monica's in New York and at Suffern, until sent to found St. Luke’s. He is assisted by Father Gilmore and Daly, and was appointed by the city authorities chaplain to Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island.” See Remigius Lafort, S.T.D., Censor, The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X. Volume 3: The Province of Baltimore and the Province of New York, Section 1: Comprising the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn, Buffalo and Ogdensburg Together with some Supplementary Articles on Religious Communities of Women.. (New York City: The Catholic Editing Company, 1914), p.388.
- ^ "Centres of Civilization; On the Lower East Side of New York", New York Times, Jul 21, 1901. Excerpt: “Everybody who read it must have been struck by a remark of Mr. Hewitt's, made not very long ago, touching the tenement house district, which was considerably commented on in the press. The remark was that it was not only the part of humanity and charity for the more favored to assist the less favored, but that in this particular case, it was not less the part of prudence…..St. Nicholas in Second Street, St. Rose of Lima in Cannon Street, and St. Teresa in Henry Street. There is also a remarkable church, remarkable for the ...””
- ^ "To Assist Parnell," New York Times, Mar 1, 1886. Excerpt: “An-enthusiastic meeting in aid of the Parnell fund was held last evening in the basement of St. Rose's Church in Cannon-street. William Geoghegan, who presided, stated that the district had already contributed $800 to the Irish cause.”
- ^ a b "Roughs Spoil a Picnic", New York Times, Aug 18, 1886. Excerpt: “The big annual excursion of the Young Men's Catholic Society attached to Father Brennan's St. Rose of Lima Church, in Cannon-street, went up the Hudson to Oscawana Island in the steamer Grand Republic yesterday….”
- ^ "Catholic Parishes in Manhattan - Sorted by ZIP Code", Brooklyn Genealogy (Retrieved 20 May 2011.)
- ^ a b "Father McGinley's Jubilee: Celebrates His Silver Anniversary and Receives a Purse of $2,000," New York Times, June 13, 1898, (Retrieved 20 May 2011)
- ^ "A New Church School," New York Times, Jan 17, 1887. Excerpt: “A meeting was held in the basement of St. Rose of Lima's Church, in Cannon-street, last evening, for the purpose of raising money to buy property for a parochial school. The amount collected was $703.85.”
- ^ "Changes in Catholic Clergy: Archbishop Farley Announces a Number of Assignments and Transfers", New York Times, Jun 11, 1904. Retrieved 21 July 2011, Excerpt: "Martin J. Burke. from St. Joseph's to the Church of the Nativity, city; the Roy. Anthony J. Morgan, from the Church of the Guardian Angels to the Mission of ..."
- ^ "Priests are Shifted by Cardinal Hayes; Several Promotions Are Among Various Changes Announced for the Archdiocese.", New York Times, Sep 26, 1930. Excerpt: “Cardinal Hayes announced yesterday the appointment of several new pastors and the transfer of numerous other priests in the archdiocese of New York….Joseph I. Norris, pastor of St. Rose's Church, 36 Cannon Street, was made pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart, Fifty-first Street, between Ninth and….”
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.