Main Entrance The main entrance, set within a slightly projecting pavilion, has a Gothic-arched
surround with spiral, rope, rose, decorative flat, and foliate moldings springing from pilasters and spiral
columns with foliate capitals. The double wooden doors are surmounted by a leaded glass transom set within a
surround with spiral, decorative flat, and foliate moldings and a puti keystone. The entrance is surmounted by a plain stone plaque and a terra-cotta relief of the Holy Family and Dove, with a cobalt blue densely-glazed background, set within the arch. The pavilion is terminated by a pedimented foliate cornice with a molded stone cap and copper coping. A sign is placed to the west of the doorway. Side (Aisle) Entrance Sections Each entrance, set within a surround with spiral, decorative flat, and foliate moldings and a putto keystone, has double wooden doors surmounted by a leaded glass transom and plain stone plaque. This is surmounted by a blind Gothic interlaced arcade that is terminated by a foliate cornice. The upper portion has a trapezoidal- shaped terra-cotta relief of an angel set on a cobalt blue densely-glazed background and having a disk motif surround. Each side is terminated by a foliate cornice following the slope of the roof and molded copper coping. The cornerstone, at the east corner, bears the inscription “A + D MCMII”. Areaway An original decorative wrought-iron fence is set on a bluestone base. Paving is concrete, with bluestone steps leading to the
Central Upper Section
The central section is flanked by the banded pilasters rising from the main
entrance section; these pilasters have articulated side returns. The large molded central rose window, embellished by a decorative metalwork cross and flanked by four corner rosettes, is set within a molded square surround, set above a blind Gothic interlaced arcade. Above the window, the typanum is clad in diaperwork consisting of triangular sections of cream- and blue- (now weathered) colored terra-cotta accented with copper stars. A terra-cotta roundel with a cobalt blue densely-glazed background bears a relief of the head of Christ. The section is terminated by a pedimented foliate cornice and molded copper coping. A simple cross, placed at
the peak, replaces the original, more elaborate one.
West Wall The west wall of the church, clad in red brick,
is unarticulated and pierced by windows. A side areaway has a metal gate and steps.
The east wall
of the church, clad in red brick, is unarticulated and pierced by windows. A Gothic-arched entrance at the south end has bluestone steps, a non-historic metal door, and a pointed-arched transom (now painted). A side areaway
has a metal gate/fence and steps. At the north end of the areaway, the south wall of the side chapel, with a Gothic stained glass window, is partially visible.
Report prepared by JAY SHOCKLEY Research Department
Adapted from: LPC, Abyssinian Baptist Church and Community House Designation Report (LP-1851)(N.Y.: City of New York, 1993), prepared by Christopher Moore and Andrew S. Dolkart.
These houses are located within the St. Nicholas Historic District.
All three churches are designated New York City Landmarks.
Cynthia Hickman, Harlem Churches a the End of the 20th Century: An Illustrated Guide (N.Y.: Dunbar Pr.,