St Paul and St. Andrew Methodist Church

540 West End Avenue, aka 263 West 86th Street

540 West End Avenue


Date: 1895-1896

NB Number: NB 577-1895

Type:  Church

Architect:  Robertson, R. H.

Developer/Owner/Builder: Corporation of St Paul’s M E Church

NYC Landmarks Designation:  Historic District and Individual Landmark

Landmark Designation Report: Riverside Drive – West End Historic District Extension I , Individual Landmark Report

National Register Designation: N/A

Primary Style:  Renaissance Revival and Romanesque Revival

Primary Facade:   Terra Cotta and Yellow roman brick

Stories: 3

Window Type/Material: Stained Glass (see Structure)

Roof Type/Material: Pitched

Structure: Significant Architectural Features: Marble stoop; two story arcaded entrance porch with grillwork transoms, second story oculi with terra-cotta enframements incorporating angels; round arched windows at third story; oculi in gable; decorative frieze; square tower with hipped roof, round arched windows and open belfry; octagonal tower with columned entrance portico with heavy tympanum, rose window, round arched windows and oculi with terra cotta surrounds, open belfry with balconies and decorative frieze, hipped roof; cornerstone

Building Notes: The church and attached parish hall was designated a New York City Landmark November 24, 1981 (LP-1126). Since then projects ranging from the removal and temporary replacement of deteriorated material, and the installation of protective netting to the installation of new HVAC equipment and an accessibility ramp have been carried out with the advice and consent of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The church, which shares the building with the West Side Center for Community Life (WSCCL), has become a commercial condominium. Originally lot 1, the new lots are 1101 (church) and 1102 (WSCCL)

Site Features: Standing display box partially replaced by fabric sign; historic metal fence at areaway on south with non-historic gate and enclosure at basement steps; display boxes attached to fence on south; concrete staircase to basement with pipe railing; altered metal fence (lower portion possibly historic) with gate and intercom on north; north areaway concrete, staircase to basement; possibly historic railings at basement staircase and basement light well of church; metal storage bins for trash

Notable History and Residents: St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church was founded as the Mulberry Street M.E. Church in 1834. It moved to a new church at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue (Park Avenue South) and East 22nd Street in 1857 where it remained until 1893. St. Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church began as a prayer meeting organized on West 69th Street in 1875. By 1882, a small stone chapel was erected on West 71st Street but the congregation outgrew that building by 1889 and a new church designed by J. C. Cady & Co. was built on West 75th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues. In 1937 the two congregations merged, and St. Andrew’s sold its building to the West Side Institutional Synagogue. In addition to its own congregation, the church and its attached parish house have recently served as temporary homes of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun and West Park Presbyterian Church. Part of the cellar is occupied by the West Side Center for Community Life.

West Facade: Designed (historic) Stoop: Original Porch(es): Original Door(s): Historic primary door; door of south tower replaced Windows: Mixed Roof: Pitched – towers: standing seam (replaced) Sidewalk Material(s): Concrete Curb Material(s): Stone Areaway Wall/Fence Materials: Altered historic metal fence Areaway Paving Material: Concrete

South Facade: Designed (historic) Facade Notes: Two-story arcade with flat and round arched windows and decorative terra cotta spandrels, each bay separated by Corinthian pilasters; clerestory with round arched windows and buttresses; three story parish hall with hipped roof entrance pavilion featuring a round arched entrance with columns and pilasters; clay tile roofs; accessibility ramp and stairs with cheek walls and metal railing (LPC 04-3606); entrance porch resurfaced with concrete (LPC 04-3606); doors replaced; signage; protective netting at entrances; non-historic basement door with lights and conduit; metal box with lock in wall at basement landing; basement windows replaced (LPC 03- 5697); metal grilles (mesh and barred) on basement windows, one altered for air-conditioner; windows in third story of parish house altered for air conditioners; part of cornice supported by metal bracing; signage, non-historic display box attached to fence; siamese hydrant across areaway; remote utility meter

North Facade: Designed (historic) (partially visible) Facade Notes: Similar to south facade; tile roof; buttresses partially painted; brick chimney; two story brick connector with terra cotta window surrounds, stringcourse and cornice; possibly historic windows; metal grilles at first story; concrete stoop with metal treads and possibly historic railings; doors at first story and basement (basement door replaced LPC 04-3164, amended); railing, air-conditioner, flue on roof (LPC 03-5697)

Historic District: Riverside Drive-West End HD Extension I

Alterations: Stoop railings removed from facade; tower roofs replaced; electrical conduit; lights in arches; door replaced, transom infilled and lintel supported by steel beams in octagonal tower; protective netting; some repairs to windows, one in south tower replaced with panel (LPC 97-3699), one in north tower partially replaced or covered with plexiglass

References: LPC, Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew (originally St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church) Designation Report (LP-1126) (New York: City of New York, 1981), prepared by Andrew S. Dolkart and Nancy Goeschel.


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