Update February 3, 2016: On a recent trip to Manhattan, I decided to take a walk over from midtown to see St. Stephen church myself… and found that it had been closed. (A quick Google finds that I am late to this party, as it had closed in 2014.)
In relation to this older post below, I am unsure where the records for the church and St. Gabriel now reside, so I suppose I need to send another letter to the archdiocese. It is a sad thing to see such a beautiful church close. You can see some of the wonderful art work, including paintings by Constantino Brumidi at this link.
In a previous post St. Gabriel Has Left The Building I outlined my search for the Manhattan church where my grandfather and siblings were baptized and hopefully the one where my great-grandparents were married.With some effort and a nice amount of luck I discovered information on the now dismantled St. Gabriel’s Church on East 37th Street.
I then found through the Archdiocese of NY that the Church of St. Stephen now held those parish records and was able to obtain my grandfather’s baptism. (Still looking for the marriage record.)
As is my wont, I posted the images I use here on this blog on The Flickr as it makes a fine scannable archive and doesn’t fill up my hosting quota here on this domain. A few days ago someone found that image and commented on it:
This is the church whose steeple is seen in the famous print by artist Martin Lewis, “Glow of the City” (1929). I’ve looked a long time for the location of this church.
I was not aware of the artist nor the print, but it has a wonderful feel of the time, don’t you think? I’ve since learned that while Australian born, he was a contemporary of Edward Hopper who is a favorite artist of mine.In the days when I delivered construction materials and spent mornings sitting in a truck on the congested Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, I whiled away the time imagining Hopper making his studies of the buildings visible from my vantage point. A fine example is Hopper’s From Williamsburg Bridge, 1928 at right.
I suggest that anyone who has an interest in the history and architecture of New York City just after the turn of the 20th century seek out the work of both of these artists.
The Brooklyn Museum holds quite a few Lewis pieces in its collection. Visit the Metropolitan Museum for its collection of Edward Hopper’s work.
The Glow of the City image above is courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum.