Monday, February 10, 2014

Church of the Ascension - Greenpoint

Church Facade
Church of the Ascension - 127 Kent Street
Aisle Entrance Red Door
Aisle Entrance
Interior photo of church looking toward the alter from the entrance
Church of the Ascension Interior
Photo of church interior from alter facing entrance
Church of the Ascension Interior
Designed by influential architect Henry Dudley, the Church of the Ascension was dedicated on September 16, 1866 and is one of only four remaining Dudley churches in New York City. Dudley was one of the key figures responsible for bringing the Gothic Revival style of architecture to the U.S. Architecturally unique in appearance for Greenpoint, the church was designed in Early English Gothic style and resembles an English country church.[1][2] The primary material used in the construction of the fa├žade is Hunter’s Point granite which is laid in a random ashlar pattern. The other architectural features of the facade include “pointed-arch aisle entrances, Early English lancets and stepped buttresses”.[1] The interior of the church is consistent with the country church appearance of the exterior. The pews, columns and decorative elements are made of wood and the building incorporates a restrained use of stained glass. 

The Episcopalian church congregation of the Church of the Ascension was founded in 1846 and has served Greenpoint for 168 years. After Hurricane Sandy the church provided a logistical base in North Brooklyn for the Occupy Sandy relief effort. When I stopped by the church after the storm it was a beehive of activity with volunteers sorting donations of food, clothing and blankets, as well as preparing car-loads of supplies and volunteers to be taken to the Rockaways and other disaster areas. In addition to the disaster relief, the church operates a regular soup kitchen on Saturday for the neighborhood’s less fortunate.

Henry Dudley (1813-1894) was born in southwest England and practiced architecture in Exeter prior to moving to the U.S. In addition to being one of the leading architects in the Gothic Revival movement in America, Henry Dudley was a founding member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and many of his structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3][4] As an architect specializing in Gothic Revival architecture, Dudley designed many ecclesiastical structures including St. George’s Episcopal Church (Queens), Mary’s Episcopal Church (Staten Island) and St. James Episcopal Church (Bronx). Although Henry Dudley designed many churches in New York, he is most noted for his architecture in Nashville Tennessee, where Dudley along with his partner Frank Wills designed the Church of the Holy Trinity.[1][5] The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  1. Morrone, Francis An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn. Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 2001
  2. White, Norval, Willensky, Elliot, and Leadon, Fran AIA Guide to New York. Oxford University Press, 2010.
  3. The American Institute of Architects. "History of the AIA" Online.
  4. "Henry C. Dudley"
  5. Church of the Holy Trinity "Parish History" Online.

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