633-637 West End Avenue: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

aka 300 West 91st Street


633-637 West End Avenue


Date: 1893-1894

NB Number: NB 97-1893

Type:  Church

Architect:  Heins & La Farge

Developer/Owner/Builder: placeholder

Row Configuration: Fourth Presbyterian Church

NYC Landmarks Designation:  Historic District

Landmark Designation Report:  Riverside Drive- West End Historic District

National Register Designation: N/A

Primary Style:  Gothic Revival and Norman

Primary Facade:   ashlar and rock-faced limestone

Roof Type/Material: Pitched & Gabled

Structure: Located at the southwest corner of West End Avenue and West 91st Street, the Fourth Presbyterian Church, now the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, is part of a complex of three limestone fronted buildings of which the rectory is now owned separately and occupied by five apartments (see entry for 631 West End Avenue.) A corner tower with clock faces on each facade dominates the corner. The parish house is connected to the church, and is entered at No. 302 West 91st Street. A two story hall on West End Avenue connects the church to the former rectory. The church has a pitched roof, triangular gables and Gothic Revival style detail.

West End Avenue Facade: This facade is eighty feet wide and fronted in rock faced ashlar with smooth ashlar trim. The church’s portal contains three wood doors surmounted by a stained glass window with wood tracery, within a pointed-arched surround. The hall connecting the rectory has stained glass windows in wood tracery. The tower is freestanding above the second story and has a round stained glass cusped window at the third story and louvered vents in a pointed arch below the glass clock face on each side. The tower is capped by small spires at the corners and has a variety of carved detail at the cornice, including gargoyles and carved angels’ faces.

West 91st Street Facade: The rock faced limestone fronted church and parish house facades combined are 125 feet wide on West 91st Street. The tower has a door at the first story. Just to the west of the tower, the nave facade is recessed and has two stained glass lancet windows.The transept has a gabled facade and contains a single large pointed-arched stained glass window below a small circular stained glass cusped window. There is a copper and slate cupola visible on the roof behind the transept facade. Just to the west of the transept is the parish house. This two story building is two bays wide and connected to the church. The eastern bay contains a pedimented entrance and double-hung leaded glass windows below a flat roof. The western bay has a gabled facade with tripartite stained glass windows within an arched surround at the second story, square-headed windows at the first story, and a basement entrance.

Historic District: Riverside Drive- West End HD

Alterations: The roofs of the buildings have been resurfaced in asphalt tile. There are light fixtures at regular intervals across both first story facades. On West End Avenue, there is a cloth canopy extending from the portal and banner posts on each side of the portal. Lexan in metal frames has been installed at the large stained glass window. On West 91st Street, screen has been installed over all the windows. There has been considerable resurfacing to the basement story of the parish house, and the basement entrance may not be original; the canopy above the basement door is not original. There is exterior storm sash on the double-hung windows.

History: Built in 1893-94 for the Fourth Presbyterian Church, this complex was designed by the noted architectural firm of Heins & La Farge, and is considered to be one of the fir^n’s major works. The church was bought by the current owners, Congregation Evangelismos Church of New York City, in 1953 and is now known as the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Selected References: New York City Department of Taxes Photograph Collection, Municipal Archives and Record Collection, C 734. Lisa M. Schroeder, “Upper West Side Religious Properties,” Preservation Studio II, Columbia University, LPC Research Files, 1984.

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