Picturesquely sited on a wide expanse of lawn, the Christ Church complex, with its church, parish house, rectory, and cloisters, is an outstanding and on Staten Island rare example of turn-of-the-20th-century neo-Gothic ecclesiastical design. Designed by the Philadelphia architect Isaac Pursell, a noted specialist in church and institutional design and apparently his only known works in New York City, the church, parish house, and connecting cloister are modeled on English country parish architecture of the late Gothic period.
The church is also distinguished by its unusually rich stained and opalescent glass windows including works by Tiffany Studios, J. & R. Lamb Studios, Nicola D’Ascenzo, and the Gorham Company. The two-story rectory, originally erected in 1879 to the designs of noted New York church architect Henry M. Congdon (1834- 1922) was remodeled by Staten Island architect William H. Mersereau (1882-1933), in 1909. The three unusually intact buildings are joined by covered walkways or cloisters reflecting the trend among neo-Gothic architects to employ cloisters to arrange churches, rectories, and parishes around a quiet landscaped courtyard reminiscent of a medieval church close.
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
New Brighton, formerly an independent village, is today a neighborhood located on the northwestern tip of Staten Island. The neighborhood comprises an older industrial and residential harbor front area along the Kill Van Kull west of St. George.Explore the Neighborhood >
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society