Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

The Cathedral of the Bronx

The Augustinian Church of St Nicholas of Tolentine

The Church of St Nicholas of Tolentine dominates the busy intersection of University Avenue and West Fordham Road in the Bronx. The parish was erected by the archdiocese in 1906 and has been served by Augustinians ever since then. The present church is a modern gothic creation from 1927, and probably one of the most handsome Catholic churches in the borough — it is often nicknamed “the cathedral of the Bronx”. (Though that style is sometimes also ascribed to St Jerome’s in Mott Haven).

The church is of suitably grand proportions, but the effect is somewhat diminished by the unfortunate use of bulky wooden pews. They are ill-suited to such a large church, and detract from the spaciousness of the interior. This is unfortunately a very frequent problem in the United States, where clumsy pews crowd even great cathedral churches like St Patrick’s in Manhattan or the glorious Cathedral Basilica in St Louis. Regardless, St Nicholas of Tolentine is a splendid ornament in this borough of many churches.

Photos: Topmost from Google Street View, the remainder from the NYC Chapter of the AGO.
This post was published on Thursday, March 28th, 2013 2:00 pm. It has been categorised under Architecture Church Errant Thoughts New York and been tagged under , , .
28 Mar 2013 4:02 pm

Andrew –

Thanks. A beautiful church. I am curious, though, about your thoughts on the pews: would you prefer chairs?

Thanks again.


29 Mar 2013 7:22 am

I won;t presume to answer for Andrew, but many of us would prefer some form of movable chair seating in such large church buildings. You will find that in large churches around the world except, of course, in the USA and Canada The removal of pews markedly improves the brightness of sound acoustics for voice, instrumental and organ. Several projects have undertaken the removal of old pewing with near spectacular results, most notably at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Madison Ave, New York and at St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church, Wall St..

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