New York City’s second-oldest religious building is now also its newest landmark. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Queens church, built in 1735-1736, at a meeting on Tuesday.
“The Commission is proud to designate this historic church, significant for its association with the early colonial settlement of Queens and with the beginnings of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York,” Meenakshi Srinivasan, the chair of the Landmarks Commission, said in a statement. “As the second-oldest church building in the City, pre-dating St. Paul’s Chapel in Manhattan, it is a site well-deserving of the protection landmark status provides.”
The Commission was leaning towards this decision when the Church first came up before the LPC last month. The church is managed by the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. In a somewhat rare instance, a representative for the Diocese actually supported the church’s landmarking.
He did however express concerns about the increased expenditures from maintaining a landmarked building. Part of those costs may be defrayed by a new church project that’s planned adjacent to the landmark. The Diocese is looking to add a new building, and public gardens, but plans for that haven’t yet been revealed.
The church last underwent a renovation in 2004 with the help of a New York Landmarks Conservancy grant, and the architect commissioned on the new project will likely restore the landmarked church even further. Today, the building is oldest remaining Church of England mission church across the city.