Metropolitan Baptist Church In Harlem Receives Needed 2021 Sacred Sites Grant

May 10, 2021

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced 17 Sacred Sites Grants totaling $267,000 awarded to historic religious properties throughout New York State.

Including $25,000 to the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Harlem to help fund slate roof repairs.

The Metropolitan Baptist Church, a magnificent example of a late-19th century “auditorium” church, with a prominent corner location and striking conical slate roof, is an imposing Harlem landmark.

Originally built for New York Presbyterian Church, Metropolitan has owned the church since 1918.

The large complex was built in two stages, the first designed by prominent and prolific New York architect John Rochester Thomas in 1884, with the latter designed in 1889 by Richard Davis.


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Although a planned corner tower was never built, the result is a striking, asymmetrical composition that combines Gothic and Romanesque revival architectural detailing.

Metropolitan normally serves about 10,000 people a year with its large food pantry and hot-meal program, which it plans to re-launch as more city residents receive COVID vaccinations.

Metropolitan normally serves about 10,000 people a year with its large food pantry and hot-meal program, which it plans to re-launch as more city residents receive COVID vaccinations.

“Our grantees help maintain these vital institutions as they serve their congregations and communities,” said Peg Breen, President, The New York Landmarks Conservancy.  “The social service programs these grantees provide reached more than 175,000 persons during these difficult days.”

The Sacred Sites Program provides congregations with matching grants for planning and implementing exterior restoration projects, along with technical assistance, and workshops.

Since 1986, the program has pledged 1,578 grants totaling more than $14.9 million to 836 religious institutions statewide.

Since 1986, the program has pledged 1,578 grants totaling more than $14.9 million to 836 religious institutions statewide.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy, a private non-profit organization, has led the effort to preserve and protect New York City’s architectural legacy for nearly 50 years.

Since its founding, the Conservancy has loaned and granted more than $54 million, which has leveraged more than $1 billion in 1,850 restoration projects throughout New York, revitalizing communities, providing economic stimulus and supporting local jobs.

Since its founding, the Conservancy has loaned and granted more than $54 million, which has leveraged more than $1 billion in 1,850 restoration projects throughout New York, revitalizing communities, providing economic stimulus and supporting local jobs.

The Conservancy has also offered countless hours of pro bono technical advice to building owners, both nonprofit organizations and individuals.

The Conservancy’s work has saved more than a thousand buildings across the City and State, protecting New York’s distinctive architectural heritage for residents and visitors alike today, and for future generations.

For more information, please visit www.nylandmarks.org.

Photo credit: Metropolitan Baptist Church by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

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