Property Management


Property Management, (1942) 1971- 1989

18 boxes, 9 linear feet

For Property Management prior to 1971 see Finance/Property Management

The care and upkeep of the Church’s properties has been a part of church administration since Trinity’s foundation; however, the property management function has only been split from other administrative functions since the parish re-organization of the early 1970s.  Trinity Church has historically divided the duties of Property Management between its commercial properties (a source of income since the original grant of the Church Farm) and its church and program properties (those used for worship and ministry). In the 1970s, a separate Commercial Property Management department was formed and placed in the Real Estate division, where it has since remained. Church and Program Property, formed at the same time, has been periodically shifted back and forth from Finance to Real Estate.

In 1971, the Church and Program Property was under the head of Parish Maintenance who reported to the Finance Department.  By September 1979, the director of Church and Program Property is reporting to the Deputy of Operations, as Real Estate was then known.

Church and Program Property 

Historical Note:

Church and Program Properties have seen significant changes since the early 1970s. In 1976, many of the chapels in the parish became independent and shortly thereafter projects were undertaken in the parish’s remaining places of worship. Between 1977 and 1982, the interior of Trinity Church was relighted, cleaned, and repainted. The sound system was upgraded and the chancel was modified. Restoration was also done on St. Paul’s Chapel including a re-enforcement of the steeple. In 1988, a chunk of sandstone fell from the Trinity Church steeple generating a new round of restoration and renovation.  The Church was cleaned removing decades of black grime to reveal the original pink of the stone. 

In addition, program spaces were significantly modified and expanded. In 1976, 68 Trinity Place was re-acquired and major renovations were made to both 68 and 74 Trinity Place, including a television studio, a Christian education space, Day Care space, a lounge, and a cafeteria. In the same year, the pedestrian bridge connecting the Church to 74 Trinity Place was begun. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the mausoleum was built at Trinity Church Cemetery to provide more burial space and sales income, and Trinity built and opened St. Margaret’s House for the elderly.

Scope and Content Note:

The records contain the files of Property Managers for Church Properties.  Hank Norde, whose files date from 1977 to 1986, oversaw plans for the Trinity Cemetery mausoleum, the Rambusch renovation of Trinity church between 1977 and 1982, the beginnings of the pedestrian bridge to join the Church to the Parish and staff offices, the retaining wall for the Church yard, the independence of the chapels and the construction of St. Margaret’s House. 

The Church Properties Drawings & Index is a large quantity of small-scale (8x10) reproductions of architectural drawings of various Church properties, including Trinity and St. Paul's done by GSO Graphics.  There is an index and series of codes to locate and determine what each drawing depicts.  Though they haven't been checked against the other architectural drawings in the archives, it is assumed that these are duplicates.

Commercial Properties

Historical Note:

Since the 1970s, there have been equally significant changes in Trinity’s commercial properties. In the early 1980s, the decision was made to diversify the properties, populated up to that time by the printing trade, and buildings were converted from light industry to office use. The neighborhood - bordered on the north by Greenwich Village, on the east by Soho, on the south by Tribeca, and on the west by the Hudson River – began to be marketed as Hudson Square, reviving the name the Church had given to its development of the nearby St. John’s Chapel neighborhood in the early 1800s. In combination with new legal and regulatory requirements, the decision to convert the buildings led to a number of changes, including lobby and façade renovations, improved fire safety systems, and the modernization and conversion of elevators to adapt to increased passenger traffic. 

Scope and Content Note:

On the commercial buildings side, the property management files contain information on the conversion of buildings from industrial to office use, including lobby renovations, elevator modernizations and tenant build-outs. They also document projects to bring the buildings into compliance with fire safety and other standards, and provide information about utility services and regular maintenance.