Finance

Archives

Finance Officers, 1815-1990
Harison, Richard | Johnson, William | Harison, William H. | Dunscomb, William | Dix, John A. | Strong, George Templeton | Dix, John A. | Cruger, Stephen Van Rensselaer | Cammann, Hermann H. | Crane, George F. | Purdy, Lawson | Stanton, Alden D. | Bates, A. Elliot | Crawfod, Desmond | Turner, Warren H. | Pruitt, Charles W.

Controller, 1979-1990
Plumer, Ralph R.

Subordinate Officers, 1904-1973
Aigeltinger, W.F.L. | Gregory, Robert T. | Stroud, Durant

Pew Rents, 1718-1962

Departments, 1800-1988
Accounting and Budget/Controller's Office, 1979-1987 | General Office Records, 1812-1984 | Real Estate, 1815-1971 | Property Management, 1839-1972 | Property Management/Church Properties

Chapels
St. Paul's Chapel | Chapel of the Intercession | St. Agnes Chapel | St. Augustine's Chapel | St. Christopher's Chapel | St. Chrysostom's Chapel | St. Cornelius' Chapel | St. John's Chapel and Burying Ground | St. Luke's Chapel | Trinity Chapel | Trinity Mission House | West Cornwall, Trinity Episcopal Conference Association | Trinity Church Cemetery | Cemeteries, Other

Property Managmentment/Commercial Properties, 1895-1959

Finance, 1815-1990

Harison, Richard, (1815-1827) 1644-1827

3 files

Historical Note:

Richard Harison was a Vestryman in 1783 and from 1788 to 1811, and a Church Warden from 1811 to 1827. He was a delegate to the New York Constitutional Convention, a member of the New York Assembly from 1788 to 1789, and the first U. S. District Attorney for New York. Harison was a lawyer by profession and a member of the Federalist Party. In 1815, he was appointed the first comptroller of Trinity Church.

Scope and Content Note:

The records of Richard Harison were donated to Trinity Church by a descendant, Elizabeth Harison. They include the 1644 deed to freeman Symon Congo, the 1667 reconfirmation of the Congo deed, letters from Bishop Henry Hobart, Bishop William White, and Bishop Benjamin T. Onderdonk, and letters on Harison’s resignation as comptroller and Church Warden due to the infirmities of age. There is also a booklet in which deeds and leases were copied, and the minutes of the Standing Committee dealing primarily with real estate issues.

Johnson, William (1827-1842) 1788-1835

5 files

Historical Note:

William Johnson was a lawyer who served as vestryman from 1821 to 1846. He resigned the Comptrollership in 1842 and the Vestry in 1846 due to age.

Scope and Content Note:

The records include bills relating to the sudden death of the Rector and Bishop, John Henry Hobart, and loans to Benjamin T. Onderdonk. Onderdonk first requested a loan because of sickness in the family in 1826 while he was assistant minister. Trinity Church continued to provide him with financial assistance into the early years of his bishopric.

Harison, William H (1842-1853) 1832-1860

5 files

Historical Note:

William H. Harison was the son of the first Comptroller Richard Harison. Also a lawyer, he served Trinity Church as Vestryman from 1833 to 1852 and as Warden from 1852 to 1855. He resigned as comptroller because of failing health in 1853. Mr. Harison’s tenure covered the beginnings of a major fight between Trinity Church and downtown property owners over a plan to have Albany Street extended through the Churchyard to Broadway. Trinity strongly opposed the extension based on the Churchyard’s status as a more than 200 year old burial ground and their claim that the remains of patriots who had been imprisoned by the British in the Sugar House north of the Churchyard during the Revolutionary War were interred there. At a town meeting discussing the issue in 1852, the suggestion was made that a monument be erected in honor of the martyrs of the Revolution. The Soldier’s monument on the northeast corner of the churchyard was erected soon thereafter.

Scope and Content Note:

Letters in this collection are a donation from Elizabeth Harison and relate to Trinity Church matters. There is material on the Albany Street extension and on the beginnings of St. Luke’s Hospital as a Christian hospital for the poor.

Dunscomb, William (1853-1870) 1834-1861

2.5 boxes, 1.25 linear feet

Historical Note:

Mr. Dunscomb, a lawyer, was a vestryman from 1830 to 1851 and Warden from 1851 to 1873. He was appointed comptroller upon the resignation of William H. Harison, his fellow warden. Mr. Harison was unable to perform his duties for five months before he actually resigned and Mr. Dunscomb served as Acting Comptroller. The Albany Street extension fight ended during Mr. Dunscomb’s tenure with the Churchyard intact. In 1855 to 1857, the New York State legislature held hearings on Trinity Church alleging that the Church Farm was held in trust for all the citizens of New York, that all New York Protestant Episcopalians should be able to vote for the Trinity Church Vestry, and that Trinity had not used its endowment to build free Churches for the poor or provided other charities. John A. Dix responded in 1857 that Trinity Church had given away most of its income to build churches and was therefore in debt and obliged to sell property to make up the deficit. In the end, no changes were made in Trinity Church’s governance. Both the Albany Street extension and the State Senate campaign of 1855-1857 generated a heated pamphlet war. Mr. Dunscomb resigned as comptroller in 1870 due to old age but remained a Church Warden until his death in 1873.

Scope and Content:

Mr. Dunscomb’s files contain letters regarding real estate, papers dealing with the attempt of the New York legislature to spread control of the Church property among all city parishes, and papers on the Albany Street extension issue

Dix, John A. (1870-1872) 1866-1873

2 files

Historical Note:

John A. Dix, the father of Morgan Dix (rector 1862-1908), had served as Secretary of the Treasury of the United States from January to March 1861 in the last days of the administration of James Buchanan. Buchanan’s successor, Abraham Lincoln, made Dix a major-general in the Union Army. Dix was a vestryman from 1849 to 1879 and a warden from 1875 to 1879. At age 72, he became Acting comptroller upon the resignation of William Dunscomb. Dix had defended Trinity Church before a hostile New York Senate during the 1855-1857 attempt to diffuse ownership of the Church Farm among all New York Episcopalians. Dix’s defense showed a keen awareness of the Church’s troubled finances pointing out that the Church was spending more than it was earning and therefore, needed to rein in its charitable goals or risk insolvency. Dix resigned as comptroller at the end of 1872 after he, a life-long Democrat, was elected Governor of New York as a Republican.

Scope and Content Notes:

Dix’s records consist of two files that contain matters of general financial business including pews, churches, and real estate.

Strong, George Templeton (1872-1875) 1872-1875

1 box, .5 linear feet

Historical Note:

Mr. Strong, like all the preceding comptrollers, was a lawyer. An abridged version of his informative diary was published in 4 volumes in 1952. (The Diary of George Templeton Strong. Edited by Allan Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1952. The original diary is held by the New York Historical Society.) He served on the Trinity Church vestry from 1847 to 1870 and as warden from 1870 to 1875. He was elected comptroller in 1872 and served until his death in 1875.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists primarily of letters dealing with the Church real estate. There are several files on the case of Alvah Wiswall, a deacon of St. John’s Chapel whose marital and financial troubles caused his dismissal in 1874.

Dix, John A. (1875-1879) 1874-1878

2 files

Historical Note:

After the death of George Templeton Strong, John A. Dix, now 76, was again elected Comptroller. Dix himself died in April of 1879. His fellow Church Warden, Gouverneur M. Ogden, served as acting Comptroller until February 1880.

Scope and Content Note:

The files contain letters dealing with real estate, Church bills, the Meneely Bell Foundry, and the building of St. Augustine’s Chapel. St. Augustine’s was erected in 1877 on East Houston Street near the Bowery to serve as a mission on the east side.

 

Cruger, Stephen Van Rensselaer (1880-1898) 1819-1898

3 boxes, 1.5 linear feet

Historical Note:

Stephen Cruger was the first non-lawyer to be elected Comptroller. His experience was in managing real estate including the properties of Trinity Church. He was elected Comptroller at the same time he was elected to the Vestry. Mr. Cruger died in 1898 at the age of 54.

Scope and Content Note:

Mr. Cruger’s records contain letters mostly dealing with Trinity real estate but also pews, Trinity Church Cemetery, and letters to the Meneely Bell Foundry. There is material on the purchase of 34 Varick street for a school near St. John’s Chapel, building papers on St. Agnes Chapel, and a booklet listing payments of pensions to parishioners.

Cammann, Hermann H. (1898-1917) 1898-1919

4 files

Historical Note:

Hermann H. Cammann, a realtor, was a vestryman at Trinity Church from 1882 to 1929 and a Church Warden from 1915 to 1921. Mr. Cammann served as comptroller when William T. Manning assumed the rectorship after the long tenure of Morgan Dix. At the time, Trinity Church was being attacked in the press on the condition of tenements either owned by Trinity or on Trinity land. After some study, the vestry decided to sell selected properties and concentrate on improving the remainder. Cammann’s comptrollership was noted by the vestry for his wise investments and the erection of commercial buildings with a major increase in income. Mr. Camman resigned from the vestry in 1929 due to ill health and died December 20, 1930 at the age of 85.

Scope and Content Note:

Mr. Cammann’s files include information on real estate, St. Paul’s chandeliers, St. Cornelius, the Chapel of the Intercession, and notes on buildings.

Crane, George F. (1917-1933) 1922-1933

2 files

Historical Note:

George F. Crane, a financier and director of several insurance companies, was a vestryman from 1903 to 1928 and a Church warden from 1928 to 1933. He was appointed comptroller in 1917 and resigned due to poor health in 1933. Mr. Crane continued the practice of selling lots while concentrating on the improvement of the remaining properties, and of moving the real estate from tenement housing to commercial buildings. Mr. Crane resigned as comptroller just as the Great Depression was having an impact on Trinity’s finances. 

Scope and Content Note:

The files cover fund raising for St. John the Divine, the building of a columbarium at the Chapel of the Intercession, and the selection of a new rector after the sudden death of Caleb R. Stetson.

 

Purdy, Lawson (1933-1937) 1934-1937

1 file

Historical Note:

Lawson Purdy, after a brief time as a lawyer, was the President of the City Department of Taxes and Assessments from 1906 to 1917. He was general director of the Charity Organization Society from 1918 to 1933. Mr. Purdy was a prominent advocate for tax reform, zoning regulations, and better housing for the poor. He was a vestryman from 1919 to 1933 and a Church warden from 1933 to 1939. Mr. Purdy resigned as comptroller citing doctor’s orders in September 1937. The following month, the vestry resolved that the comptroller must not be a member of the vestry.

Scope and Content Note:

Mr. Purdy’s files deal mostly with the Freethinker’s suit against the “Washington’s Prayer” displayed in St. Paul’s chapel.

Stanton, Alden D. (1938-1942) 1938-1942

3 files

Historical Note:

Alden D. Stanton was the first comptroller of Trinity Church who was not a member of the vestry. The vestry had resolved in a meeting of October 1937 to separate the office of comptroller from the vestry upon the advice of a Special Committee. Before becoming comptroller, Mr. Stanton served under Mr. Purdy, his predecessor, as Manager of the Estate. Mr. Stanton resigned on November 30, 1942.

Scope and Content Note:

Mr. Stanton’s files contain material on the Trinity Church bells and on World War II storage of church valuables.

Bates, A. Elliott (1943-1960) 1922-1960

6 boxes, 3 linear feet

Historical Note:

A. Elliott Bates spent 23 years as a realtor before coming to Trinity Church. He was hired as Assistant Comptroller in 1942. In 1943, he was promoted to comptroller after the resignation of Alden D. Stanton. Mr. Bates served eighteen years as comptroller.

Scope and Content note:

Mr. Bates files are arranged in the following subseries: General, Property Management, Gifts and Allowances, Contracts, and Clergy Housing. His correspondence contains letters on the Episcopal Fund and the landmarking of St. Luke’s Chapel. The Gifts and Allowances subseries refers to grants from Trinity Church to other churches and institutions. Contracts covers the release of Columbia University from land agreement stipulations, the Church organ, and the property in West Cornwall.

Crawford, Desmond (1960-1971) 1940-1971

3 boxes, 1.5 linear feet

Historical Note:

Desmond Crawford was promoted to comptroller after the resignation of Mr. Bates. Mr. Crawford, a certified public accountant, started employment with Trinity in 1948 as treasurer of the Real Estate Committee. In 1954 he became director of real estate. The position of comptroller was abolished in 1971 during the “One Peppercorne” re-organization when Mr. Crawford was appointed financial advisor to the Rector. He resigned August 31, 1973.

Scope and Content Note:

Mr. Crawford’s correspondence includes letters on the monument to John Heuss, on St. Cornelius, and on St. Luke’s. His files contain information on finances, on Trinity Churchyard, St. Christopher’s Chapel, and West Cornwall.

Turner, Warren H. (1971-1974) 1925-1975

2.5 boxes, 1.7 linear feet

Historical Note:

Vestryman Warren H. Turner was the first to fill the new position of Deputy of Parish Administration. His duties were that of the chief financial and budget adviser. Real Estate was moved under the direction of the Deputy of Parish Resources. Mr. Turner had been a vestryman since 1967 and he resigned the vestry to take the position. Before coming to Trinity, Mr. Turner had been assistant director of the National Security Agency, Department of Defense in Washington. In 1959, he became the Executive Vice President of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church USA in their New York Office and a parishioner of Trinity Church. His interests were ecumenism and strong clergy/laity co-operation.

Scope and Content:

Mr. Turner’s files are in alphabetical order by subject and provide information on the re-organization of the department. His records include files on the chapels, ministries, Parish administration, and West Cornwall.

Pruitt, Charles W., 1974-1979

10 boxes, 5 linear ft.

Historical Note:

Charles W. Pruitt, Jr.’s background was in the building and administration of homes for the elderly. He was instrumental in developing the plans for St. Margaret’s House. Mr. Pruitt resigned to become president of The Presbyterian Association in Pennsylvania.

Scope and Content Note:

Mr. Pruitt’s files are organized under subject headings: Financial, Organizational, Personnel, Programs, Real Estate Church, Real Estate Commercial, Vestry, West Cornwall and Manuals. His files deal with chapel independence, restructuring of the department, personnel, and real estate.

Controller, 1979-1990

Plumer, Ralph R., 1979-1990

12 boxes, 6 linear feet

Historical Note: 
After Charles Pruitt resigned, his position was renamed controller with responsibility for accounting, budget, and administrative services. Ralph R. Plumer, the Director of Accounting and Finance, was promoted to the new position. Mr. Plumer rose through the ranks having first been hired at Trinity in 1967. He took early retirement in 1990.

Scope and Content Note: Mr. Plumer’s files are organized by subject. The majority of the files pertain to housing for the elderly at St. Margaret’s House. 

Subordinate Officers, 1905-1973

6 boxes, 3 linear feet

This series includes the files of persons who acted as administrative assistants to the Director of Finance.

Aigeltinger, W.F.L. [William Frederick Leopold], 1905-1932

1 box, .5 linear feet

Historical Note:

Mr. Aigeltinger started at Trinity as a clerk in 1885. In 1905, he was appointed Chief Clerk. In 1921, he was also made Manager of Real Estate, a position he held until his retirement in 1933.

Scope and Content Note:

Aigeltinger’s files concern the churchyard and the cemetery

Gregory, Robert T., 1929-1962

2 boxes, 1 linear foot

Historical Note:

Gregory was Assistant to the Comptroller from 1943 to 1960.

Scope and Content Note:

His files, dated from 1929 to 1962, primarily concern management of parish and commercial properties. Also included are gifts and allowances.

Stroud, Durant, 1942-1973

3 boxes, 1.5 linear feet

Historical Note:

Durant Stroud was hired as an office manager in the comptroller’s office in 1954, and was appointed Assistant to the Comptroller in 1960. He retired in January 1972.

Scope and Content Note:

Stroud’s files primarily concern property management and insurance of the parish’s buildings and chapels.

 

Pew Rents, 1718-1962

5 boxes, 2.5 linear feet

Historical Note:

As was customary in the Anglican, and later Episcopal Church, pews at Trinity and its chapels were sold or rented to communicants. Pew rentals provided some income for the parish, and encouraged the worship attendance of entire households. By the mid-to-late 19th century, Trinity’s wealthier congregants had moved northward as the city developed, leaving lower Manhattan to less well-off residents. Free pews were first proposed by the Rev. Morgan Dix in 1856, while serving as Assistant Minister, though no action was taken at that time. Dix had hoped that by making pews free in St. Paul’s Chapel, the parish could minister to the neighborhood’s needy. 

As the century progressed, many pews in Trinity Church, St. Paul’s Chapel, and St. John’s Chapel became free as the Vestry was able to purchase them from descendants of original possessors. Those that were still rented could only be claimed on Sundays and on high feast days; all pews were free on weekdays and at night services. Soon after becoming rector in 1908, the Rev. William Manning advocated making all pews free throughout the parish at all times. The First World War proved to be a catalyst—in December 1918, shortly after the armistice ended the war, Manning again proposed that pews in Trinity Church and its chapels be made free. He argued that

[T]he men who are coming back to us will find it easier to understand the spirit of democracy that should be existent here if the churches are open to all comers and they are not under obligations to pewholders for seats. The free seats should be a thank offering for the victory they have won, for the blessings of the church should be thrown open to every one.

The Vestry was quick to respond, and in January of 1919 resolved to make pews free when their current leases expired during the year. As an incentive to those who may have been reluctant to surrender their pews (many of which were held by families for decades), Trinity offered to affix plaques of donorship on the pews if they were surrendered to the church. By the time leases expired in Trinity, in May of 1919, most pewholders had surrendered their pews.

Scope and Content Note:

Pew records are primarily for Trinity Church, St. Paul’s Chapel, and St. John’s Chapel. Also included are some pew records for Trinity Chapel and St. Agnes’ Chapel. Most pew records are financial rent accounts. Pew record books prior to the creation of the Comptroller’s Office in 1815 can be found in the Vestry record group though some records from that earlier period can also be found in this series. See also Vestry Minutes and Vestry Papers for scattered pew records. The Pew Owners volume (1839-1849) includes, in some cases, detailed histories of ownership.

 

Departments, 1800-1988

40 boxes, 20 linear feet plus oversize

Historical Note:

Financial matters were initially handled by the Vestry until the position of comptroller was created in 1815. In the 1971 parish re-organization, the Comptroller was renamed the Deputy of Parish Administration. The Office of Parish Administration and its successor, Finance, have been split into a number of sub-departments with specialized functions. Between the beginning of One Peppercorne's implementation in 1971 and the completion of the Office's restructuring in 1976, the departments were somewhat fluid. 

Accounting and Budget/Controller’s Office, 1979-1987

4 boxes, 1.5 linear feet

Historical Note: 
Between 1971, when the new office of Parish Administration was established, and the completion of its restructuring at the end of 1976, accounting and budget functions were managed by separate departments. Between 1976 and 1994, they were housed in the same department, first named Finance and Accounting (or Accounting and Finance); then, from 1979-1990, the Department of Accounting and Budget. In 1990, the Department of Accounting and Budget became the Controller’s Office.

Scope and Content Note: 
This sub-group comprises the office files of Ken Swan, Director of the department of Accounting and Budget between 1979 and 1990, and Controller from 1990-1994. They contain information about Trinity’s finances and real estate, including tax files and real estate assessments, as well as administrative matters. 

General Office Records, 1812-1984

36 boxes, 18 linear feet pus oversize

Scope and Content Note:

The series contains financial records, including ledgers, account books, budgets, comptroller reports, financial reports, parochial reports, and audits. Also included are records pertaining to gifts made by Trinity Parish and bequests made to the parish. Some of the records date from before the creation of the Comptroller’s Office in 1815.

Real Estate, 1815 – 1971

30.5 boxes, 15.25 linear feet plus oversize 

Historical Note:

For real estate information prior to 1815, see Vestry record group.

In 1815, the office of the Comptroller was created to manage Trinity’s Real Estate. The position was the result of a study done by the Committee on the Present System of Managing the Corporate Estate Created by the Vestry. In their desire to spread the Church throughout the state of New York, the Vestry had freely given away land and money from the Church Farm, leaving Trinity constantly indebted. The first Comptroller, Church Warden Richard Harison, took out loans to cover Trinity’s debt but the problems continued. In August of 1820, the Vestry decided to stem the outflow by resolving not to loan to any churches outside of Manhattan and to sell lots to replenish the Treasury. The Vestry set up a standing committee “to attend to the general Concerns of the Corporation, embracing the Care, disposition and Improvement of the Church Estate, the procuring of Supplies, the direction of repairs & Collections and the regulation of the Books and accounts.” This Committee hoped to bring the Church to a sound financial footing by better record-keeping, accountability, and belt tightening.

In the mid 19th century, the State Legislature began an investigation of Trinity’s exclusive right to the Church Farm. Their inquiry was prompted by Low Church critics within the Diocese of New York troubled by Trinity’s increasingly High Church stand. They argued that the Church Farm was meant to belong to the wider church, not just Trinity. Trinity was also criticized for extravagant expenditures in building chapels, for being partial in its grants, and for not building churches with free pews. Trinity responded with a full account of its spending that contradicted its accusers’ assertions. The investigation eventually came to nothing but it instigated a heated pamphlet war and brought Trinity’s internal workings to public attention.

In the late 19th century, Trinity again came under attack for the conditions of tenement dwellings on the Church Farm. In 1909, the newly installed Rector William Manning swore to improve the situation. “I hold that in this matter (i.e., tenement housing) we ought to set not only a high standard, but the very highest. Far better, if necessary, that all our charities should be given up and all our churches and schools closed than that we should maintain any of them by revenue derived from property in an unsanitary or questionable condition.” The Vestry did a study and recommended that residential buildings be torn down and replaced by larger commercial buildings in order to attract new and diverse industry into the neighborhood. Manning began publishing Trinity’s annual reports to discourage unfavorable speculation on Trinity’s use of its wealth.

Following the tenement controversy, the parish focused on commercial, rather than residential, buildings. During the boom years of the 1920s, Trinity decided to encourage others to erect buildings on their property rather than to incur the expense themselves. They offered their land as security as an enticement to build. As the Great Depression began to take hold, the comptroller decided to put real estate in the hands of outside professionals to deal with the troubled properties. A contract was made with two real estate firms and a fully owned subsidiary, the Junior Leasing Corporation, was formed in 1933. Other wholly owned subsidiary corporations during the 1930s included Yorvic Realty and Royton Realty.

Some members of the Vestry were opposed to the use of outside firms to manage the real estate and called for an investigation of the practice. The Junior Leasing Corporation was dissolved in 1940 and the newly-formed Trinity Operating Company allowed Trinity to regain direct management of its real estate. The difficulties experienced in real estate management during the Depression led to a reorganization in which Trinity strove to further separate parochial concerns from business matters. The Comptroller would no longer be a vestryman, but rather a professional trained in finance. Trinity Operating Company was dissolved in 1950.

In the decades following World War II, Trinity Real Estate emerged from its heavy mortgage debt incurred during the Depression, and continued to purchase and sell commercial properties, at times using subsidiary corporations. The parish also made improvements to its commercial buildings. During this period, the bulk of its tenants were involved in the paper and printing industries, and the area around Canal Street was primarily industrial.

After 1971, the Deputy for Parish Resources handled real estate matters (see Real Estate record group).

Scope and Content:

Real estate material includes account books, lease registers, maps, lot registers, deeds, leases, appraisals, titles and abstracts, petitions, indentures, tax documents, contracts, petitions, insurance policies, and agreements. In addition, there are numerous surveys, ground plans, and other architectural drawings of church and commercial properties. Files in this section also concern various Trinity Real Estate Corporations. Some items relate to multiple properties.

The Real Estate files were dispersed. They have been brought together and arranged by division and block. The Division system, instituted by Trinity Church in the early 19th century, covered most of the area originally known as the Church Farm. This area was divided into five divisions, which in turn were divided into blocks. See below.

Properties are also identified, when possible, by address in the database. Some properties fall outside of the Church Farm divisions, and are arranged as “below Church Farm” (including Trinity Place properties), and “above Church Farm”. This section also contains numerous photographs of commercial properties, the bulk of which date from the 1940s and 1950s.

For real estate material prior to 1815, see the Vestry record group. For material after 1971, see the Real Estate record group.

 

Division I

Block

1 Fulton, Greenwich, Vesey, Church, 
2 Vesey, West Broadway, Barclay, Church, 
3 Barclay, Church, Park Place, Broadway 
4 Murray, Church, Warren, Broadway 
5 Murray, West Broadway, Warren, Church 
6 Murray, West Broadway, Warren, Greenwich 
7 Warren, Greenwich, Chambers, West Broadway 
8 Warren, West Broadway, Chambers, Church 
9 Warren, Church, Chambers, Broadway 
10 Chambers, Church, Reade, Broadway 
11 Chambers, West Broadway, Reade, Church 
12 Chambers, Greenwich, Reade, Hudson 
13 Reade, West Broadway, Church 
14 Franklin, Washington, North Moore, Greenwich 
15 Franklin, Greenwich, North Moore, Hudson 
16 North Moore, Greenwich, Beach, Hudson 
17 Hubert, Greenwich, Laight, Collister 
18 Laight, Greenwich, Hudson 
19 Vestry, Canal

 

Division II

Block

1 Canal, Watts, Varick 
2 Canal, Varick, Grand, Avenue of the Americas 
3 Grand, Varick, Watts, Avenue of the Americas 
4 Watts, Varick, Broome, Avenue of the Americas 
5 Avenue of the Americas, Spring, Sullivan 
6 Broome, Varick, Dominick, Avenue of the Americas 
7 Dominick, Varick, Spring, Avenue of the Americas 
7 Broome, Dominick, Varick 
8 Dominick, Hudson, Spring, Varick 
9 Canal, Renwick, Spring, Hudson

 

Division III

Block

1 W. Houston, Greenwich, Clarkson, Hudson 
2 W. Houston, Hudson, Clarkson, Varick 
3 Clarkson, Greenwich, Leroy, Hudson 
4 Leroy, Greenwich, Morton, Hudson 
5 Morton, Washington, Barrow, Greenwich 
6 Morton, Greenwich, Barrow, Hudson 
7 Morton, Hudson, Barrow 
8 Barrow, Hudson, Grove 
9 Barrow, Greenwich, Christopher, Hudson 
10 Barrow, Washington, Christopher

 

Division IV

Block

1 Greenwich, Vestry, Hudson 
2 Vestry, Greenwich, Desbrosses, Hudson 
3 Desbrosses, Greenwich, Watts, Hudson 
4 Vestry, Hudson, Canal 
5 Canal, Hudson, Watts

 

Division V

Block

1 Spring, Greenwich, Vandam, Hudson 
2 Spring, Hudson, Vandam, Varick 
3 Spring, Varick, Vandam, Ave. of Americas 
4 Vandam, Varick, Charlton, Ave. of Americas 
5 Vandam, Hudson, Charlton, Varick 
6 Vandam, Greenwich, Charlton, Hudson 
7 Charlton, Greenwich, King, Hudson 
8 Charlton, Hudson, King, Varick 
9 Charlton, Varick, King and Ave of Americas 
10 King, Varick, W. Houston, Ave. Americas 
11 King, Hudson, W. Houston, Varick 
12 King, Greenwich, W. Houston, Hudson

Property Management, 1839-1972

31.5 boxes, 15.75 linear feet plus oversize

Historical Note:

Property Management deals with the maintenance and upkeep of the Church’s properties. Initially the duties of this department were performed by the sexton under the supervision of the Vestry. In 1784, the Vestry appointed a committee out of their members to oversee the upkeep of the Church and Cemeteries. In 1802, the Vestry named a member as Superintendent of Repairs to report to the Vestry Committee of Repairs. Property Management became part of the duties of the Comptrollers Office once that office was established in 1815. In the 1971 re-organization known as One Peppercorne, commercial property management was moved under Real Estate (Parish Resources) while management of church properties remained under finance (Parish Administration). The department was headed by the Parish and Chapel Maintenance Officer who reported to the Buildings and Grounds Vestry Committee. In 1977 after Trinity had divested itself of the Chapels, Commercial and Church Property management were rejoined under Finance now known as the Office of Administration and Operations. In 1979, Property management was moved from Finance to Real Estate which was then known as the Department of Operations. For records from 1972 onwards, see Property Management.

Scope and Content Note:

The records provide documentation on the maintenance of the properties. The series is divided into Church Properties which includes Trinity Church, its chapels, missions, and cemeteries, and Commercial Properties which deals primarily with the properties of the Church Farm. The records contain architectural drawings, specifications, proposals, bills, reports, and correspondence.

 

Property Management/Church Properties 
 

Trinity Church, 1839-1968

14 boxes, 7 linear feet

Historical Note:

In 1839, Richard Upjohn was commissioned to build the third Trinity Church building after the structure of the second building was deemed unsafe. The cornerstone was laid in 1841, and the building, a large neo-gothic structure, was consecrated May 21, 1846. In the early 20th century, the City laid subway lines underneath Trinity Church and its properties. The effects of the underground construction soon began to show wear and tear on the above ground buildings. In 1912, H de B Parsons was hired as consulting engineer to appraise the effects the subway had on Trinity church, its chapels, and buildings.

The first addition to the church, All Saints Chapel, was added in 1913. It was erected on the North side in memory of the long-time Rector Morgan Dix who had died in 1908. Thomas Nash designed the chapel along with the Astor cross in the churchyard. The architect F. Delancey Robinson was employed by Trinity Church for work on the Church and some of its chapels in 1930. Hobart Upjohn, Richard Upjohn’s grandson, in tandem with the engineer Robert H. Chambers saw to strengthening the steeple with underpinnings in the late 1930s. Upjohn also designed the vestry room and Rector’s office at 74 Trinity Place in a Gothic style. Thomas M. Bell, associate architect in Hobart Upjohn’s office, continued as Trinity’s consulting architect after Upjohn retired in 1945. In 1966, the Manning wing was added on the South side of the Church and included a museum space, a new sacristy, and an upper story for the choir.

Scope and Content Note:

The records contain drawings by Richard Upjohn donated by the Richard Upjohn Estate in 1903. Also included are estimates, proposals, contracts, bills, reports, photographs and correspondence on the building of the third Trinity Church. H de B Parsons files contain building assessments, photographs, drawings, diagrams, and reports. In the Manning wing files, records on the relocation of vaults, reports, and photographs can be found. There are also records on the acquisition of Church treasures and art objects along with appraisals.

Chapels
 

St. Paul’s Chapel, 1855-1962

2 boxes, 1 linear foot plus oversize

Historical Note:

St. Paul’s Chapel was consecrated October 30, 1766. The Georgian-style chapel was probably built from a pattern book, a common practice in 18th century America. It resembles London’s St. Martin in the Fields whose architect, James Gibbs, produced a very popular and widely disseminated pattern book, A Book of Architecture (1728). The steeple, designed by James C. Lawrence, was completed in 1794. The interior contains a painting of the Great Seal of the United States that was commissioned in 1785 and chandeliers that were installed in 1802. In 1787, the monument to Richard Montgomery, who died in the 1775 attack on Quebec, was installed on the portico of the chapel. Pierre L’Enfant was commissioned to provide an embellishment to the monument in order to disguise its silhouette rising above the altar in the Great Window. Seen from the interior, the embellishment represents the Glory; seen from the exterior, it represents mourning for the fallen hero while celebrating the new nation.

In the late 19th century, the chapel was renovated in a Gothic style with dark pews and stained glass. The Gothic features were removed in a subsequent restoration of the 1920s. Another major renovation took place in the 1960s.

In the early 19th century, a city fire house was placed on the North West corner of the churchyard. In 1855, a girl’s school and offices were added. The Vestry Building, stretching from Vesey to Fulton Street, replaced the several buildings in 1887. This edifice contained clergy and real estate offices, clergy quarters, and a vestry meeting room. The building was destroyed in 1928 because of street widening and subway construction.

Scope and Content note:

The records contain architectural drawings, proposals, specs, letters, bills, reports, and photographs. Information is available on the several restorations, on the construction of the subway and planting of the trees in the Churchyard. There are also building specification reports on the no longer existing school built in 1855.

 

Chapel of the Intercession, 1910-1956

.5 box

Historical Note:

The Chapel of the Intercession at 155th and Broadway near Trinity Church Cemetery was an independent church that was taken into the Trinity Church chapel system in 1907. Trinity Church erected the present building designed by Bertram G. Goodhue in 1914. Intercession became independent again in 1976 when Trinity divested itself of its chapels.

Scope and Content Note:

The records contain specifications, bids, contracts, agreements and letters on the building of the chapel. There are also letters on windows for the lady’s chapel in 1930, a property inventory, and documents on the columbarium. See also Congregational Office-Chapels.

 

St. Agnes’ Chapel, 1888-1968

2 boxes, 1 linear foot

Historical Note:

St. Agnes’ Chapel was built on West 92nd Street near Columbus Avenue in 1892 by the architect, William A. Potter. The buildings were sold to Trinity School in 1944 and the chapel was subsequently razed.

Scope and Content Note:

The records contain specifications, drawings, correspondence, reports, and inventories.

 

St. Augustine’s Chapel, 1856-1963

1 box, .5 linear feet

Historical Note:

Trinity Church erected St. Augustine’s Chapel designed by William A. Potter on 105 E. Houston in 1877. In 1945, the E. Houston chapel was sold and the congregation was merged with All Saints at 290 Henry Street. In 1949, Trinity Church took over the Henry Street church as St. Augustine’s Chapel. The Chapel was made independent again in 1976 when Trinity Church divested itself of its chapels.

Scope and Content Note:

The records contain specifications, contracts, letters, agreements, drawings, and photographs along with reports on the effects of subway construction.

 

St. Christopher’s Chapel, 1937-1967

1 file

Historical Note:

St. Christopher’s was originally a chapel attached to the Trinity Mission House at 211 Fulton Street. In expectation of the chapel’s closing, the Trinity Church Association purchased a mission chapel at 48 Henry Street. The Fulton Street St. Christopher’s was moved to Henry Street in 1952. The Henry Street St. Christopher’s was transferred to the Diocese in 1971.

Scope and Contents Note:

The records contain photographs of the 211 Fulton Street chapel and letters regarding improvement of the gymnasium at the Henry Street address.

 

St. Chrysostom’s Chapel, 1916-1941

1 file

Historical Note:

Trinity Church erected a chapel at 7th Avenue and 39th Street designed by Richard M. Upjohn, the son of the Trinity Church architect, Richard Upjohn, in 1869. The Chapel was closed and the building was demolished in 1924.

Scope and Content Note:

Most of the records deal with the effect of the subway on the Chapel. These include specifications, photographs and reports. There are also letters from the Reverend James B. Sill requesting the windows from St. Chrysostom after the chapel was closed.

 

St. Cornelius’ Chapel, 1905-1981

3 files

Historical Note:

St. Cornelius on Governor’s Island was assumed into the Trinity Church chapel system in 1868. In 1906, Trinity replaced the small wooden chapel with the present structure designed by Charles C. Haight. Governor’s Island was a United States Army base from 1800 to 2003 when ownership of the island was transferred to New York. Trinity Church continues to retain ownership of the chapel.

Scope and Content Note:

The files contain specifications, proposals, and agreements on the building of the Chapel in 1905. The later files contain information on furnishings, plans, inventories, correspondence regarding restoration work, and condition surveys.

 

St. John’s Chapel and Burying Ground, 1840-1947

2 files

Historical Note:

St. John’s Chapel at 46 Varick Street between Beach and Laight Streets was built in 1807 after a design by John and Isaac McComb. In 1909, the congregation was merged with that of St. Luke’s and the chapel was closed. It was demolished due to street widening in 1918.

Land bordered by Clarkson, Hudson, Leroy Streets and 7th Avenue was set aside as a burial ground by 1806. In 1896, the burial ground was taken over by the City for a park. The park, originally named Hudson Park, was renamed the James J. Walker Park in 1946.

Scope and Content Note:

Most of the records deal with the City takeover of the burial ground. There are records of the court battle fought by Trinity Church to oppose the park plans, vault deeds, and correspondence dealing with the disposal of the remains. There are also records on St. John’s Chapel organs.

 

St. Luke’s Chapel, 1926-1960

4 files

Historical Note:

St. Luke’s was founded in 1820 as an independent church supported in part by land endowments from Trinity Church. The building was constructed in 1822. Trinity Church brought the Church into its chapel system in 1892. St. Luke’s became independent again in 1976 when Trinity Church divested itself of its chapels.

In 1945, Trinity Church opened a school at St. Luke’s to satisfy a pressing neighborhood need. The school was completed in 1955.

Scope and Content Note:

The records contain plans, specifications and correspondence regarding the gymnasium constructed for St. Luke’s Chapel and the construction of the school in 1955.

 

Trinity Chapel, 1815-1916

1 file

Historical Note:

Trinity Chapel, on 25th Street west of Broadway, was designed by Richard Upjohn and was consecrated in 1855. The chapel was closed in 1943 and sold to the Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church. The building still stands as the Cathedral of St. Sava.

Scope and Content Note:

The files contain specifications, agreements, accounts and letters, most having to do with the construction of the chapel buildings.

 

Trinity Mission House, 1943-1970

6 files

Historical Note:

Trinity Mission House was established at 211 Fulton Street by the Trinity Church Association, the organization that funded Trinity’s missions. In 1919, the sisters of St. Margaret replaced the sisters of St. Mary in running the mission. The Trinity Mission House was closed in 1956 to concentrate on two Lower East side missions. Trinity Church acquired St. Margaret’s House at 2 Oliver Street as housing for the Sisters of the Order of St. Margaret. Seaside House on Long Island was a camp for girls also run by the sisters of St. Margaret.

Scope and Content Note:

The files contain deeds, agreements, letters, and plans on Trinity Mission House, St. Margaret’s House, and the Seaside House.

West Cornwall, the Trinity Episcopal Conference Association

5 files

Historical Note:

The Trinity Episcopal Conference Association (TECA) refers to the parish Conference Center in West Cornwall, Connecticut. The property was purchased in 1915 by the vicar of St. Luke’s Chapel, Edward H. Schlueter (1909-1945) and used as a summer camp for boys. When the vicar retired in 1945, Trinity Church purchased the 350 acres to continue the camp. In 1953, it was decided to create a center for conferences, retreats, and education in addition to the summer camp. The center was dedicated in April of 1954 as a place to “provide opportunity to groups from throughout the Episcopal Church to meet together to demonstrate Christian faith and action . . . to demonstrate that the Holy Ghost works through the Church.”

Scope and Content Note:

The files document work on the building of cabins, property maintenance, the relocation of Rte 7, the chapel, and tax exemption status.

 

Trinity Church Cemetery, 1847-1972

1 box, .5 linear feet

Historical Note:

Trinity Church purchased land for a cemetery on the Hudson River at 155th Street from Richard F. Carman in 1842. The property is today bounded on the East by Amsterdam Avenue, on the South by 153rd St., on the West by Riverside Drive overlooking the Hudson River, and on the North by 155th Street. James Renwick Jr. was chosen to lay out the grounds. The first interment took place in May 1843.

In 1867, the City decided to open 11th Avenue (Broadway) through the Cemetery splitting it into an easterly and westerly division. The Vestry, in 1870, commissioned Calvert Vaux to build a bridge to connect the two halves of the cemetery. Calvert Vaux’s services were retained until 1880 and, in addition to the bridge, he designed the landscaping and the wall enclosing the cemetery.

The pedestrian bridge was dismantled in 1911 to make way for the new Chapel of the Intercession complex. The Chapel, designed by Bertram Goodhue, situated on the corner of 155th Street and Broadway, was consecrated in 1915. Intercession was made independent of the Parish of Trinity Church in 1976.

Scope and Content Note:

The files document cemetery maintenance and city development. There are records on the 19th century passage of the Hudson River Railroad Company and the extension of Broadway through the property. See also Chapel of the Intercession above and the Trinity Church Cemetery record group.

Cemeteries, other, 1902-1972

1.5 boxes, .75 linear foot

Historical Note:

In 1870, the cemetery requested that the rector make inquiries to obtain ground in which to bury the poor communicants of Trinity Parish. By 1871, the vestry had authorized the rector to make an agreement with St. Michael’s Cemetery in Queens. St. Michael’s Church in Manhattan had founded this cemetery in 1852 precisely to provide a dignified resting place for the poor. In 1905, the vicar of Saint Augustine’s Chapel purchased plots in Pinelawn Cemetery on Long Island and at Mount Hope Cemetery in Westchester County. Trinity Church assumed ownership of the lots since St. Augustine’s was a chapel of the Parish.

Scope and Content Note:

The files in the section deal with maintenance of the plots, fees, interments, and removals concerning St. Michael’s Cemetery, Pinelawn Memorial Park and Mount Hope Cemetery.

 

Property Management/Commercial Properties, 1895-1959

8 boxes, 4 linear feet plus oversize

Historical Note:

The maintenance and upkeep of the Commercial Properties fell under the Comptroller’s direction until the parish re-organization in 1971 when it was moved to the newly created real estate department known as the Department of Parish Resources. See Property Management record group for records after 1971.

Scope and Content Note:

This series contains the maintenance files on Trinity Church’s Commercial properties. The majority of the files refer to properties on the Church Farm and are arranged according to the Division/block numbering system instituted in the early 19th century. The Farm was divided into 5 divisions designated by Roman numerals and each block of the division was designated by an Arabic numeral. The files contain architectural drawings, specifications, reports, bills, and correspondence. There are also large ledger books dating from 1938 to 1947 showing entries on operating expenses and income for commercial properties.