Thursday, April 10, 2008

Unusual Church in Chelsea, Part II

Ok, as a historian who spent more time in research than teaching, I was compelled to find out more on that odd looking church I encountered in Chelsea on Saturday. Compelled is perhaps too mild a term, however. Let's just say that my initial curiosity mushroomed into a manic quest that took up a couple of hours on the computer. First, I couldn't be exactly sure of the location. With an impatient child trailing along, I simply failed to make a mental note of the exact location for a return visit. But with a little help from Google Earth and a couple of church listing search engines, I was able to learn more. It's the Manor Community Church located at 350 West 26th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues - not between 9th and 10th as I had initially reported. The apparent Dutch provenance of the architecture makes sense, because the church was originally known as the Manor Chapel of the South Reformed Dutch Church. Constructed in 1873, the building was expanded in 1907. In 1917 the congregation broke away from the Reformed Dutch Church and in 1923 became simply the Manor Community Church. Today it is listed as a non-denominational church. Now if I could just gain access to the inside! (And I can hear my mother right now as she reads this: "Well why don't you just go to a service on Sunday.")

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