Trinity Church

Trinity Church 75 Broadway New York

New York: Your Oyster/Trinity Church
Museum of the City of New York
Written By Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation.

Trinity Church would not exist if it weren't for oyster shells. How so you ask? Well, burnt oyster shells produced the lime used to build the long-standing Neo-Gothic beauty in Lower Manhattan. The building remains one of the premier examples of neo-Gothic architecture, and its 281-foot steeple made it the tallest building in New York until 1890. The style is characterized by pointed arches, rich colors, and emphasis on vertical design elements. It takes inspiration from the Gothic movement, which occurred during the golden era of Christianity.

In fact, many buildings used lime derived from oysters in construction at the time. It was even common for private homes to have one side of their cellars open so people could burn shells to use in household repairs. Eventually, this began causing a pollution problem, and in 1703, New York passed a law banning the practice.

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Trinity Church has been part of New York history for more than 300 years. George Washington prayed at the church after his inauguration as the first president of the United States.

Fun fact: Alexander Hamilton is buried here, in what is the only active cemetery that still exists in Manhattan today.

Cover photo by jcba_photo23 via Instagram

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