Designated as part of the Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District June 15, 2021
One of the earliest houses of worship in the area, the former Mount Calvary United Methodist Church (originally Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Atonement) was built in 1897 and designed by Henry Anderson with an awe-inducing sanctuary complete with a soaring ribbed groin vault and lancet windows in the apse portraying the Evangelist in stained glass. It was originally constructed to serve the spiritual needs of the neighborhood’s German immigrant community but was purchased in 1924 by former members of the long-established First A.M.E. Bethel Church located at 60 West 132nd Street. By the 1940s, the church boasted one of the largest Methodist congregations in Harlem. In 1946, Shirley Chisholm was hired to be a teacher in its nursery school, and she taught there for seven years. In 1968, Ms. Chisholm became the first black woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress and four years later, the first black candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States. Throughout her political career, Ms. Chisholm spoke about the impact her work with children had upon her.
*The church continues to be threatened by the owner/developer who planned to demolish and redevelop the site. There is an effort to have the church removed from the Historic District. Send a letter to the Mayor and City Council to support the church’s designation here.
“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
"HDC has begun a series of projects to highlight the Bronx's architectural and cultural history. From booklet's and research highlighting specific sites and historic districts to the HDC's symposium in October 2018 to the latest community-based committee to look into further possible sites to qualify for landmarking, the HDC has established projects that will serve the Bronx community well."
City Lore, Folklorist
Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director
"Welcome2TheBronx is grateful for the advocacy done by the Historic Districts Council on behalf of the people of The Bronx. Through their deep connections and understanding of the importance of preserving our local histories, The Bronx has been able to have several spotlights shown on endangered communities as gentrification creeps into the borough."
Ed García Conde,
founder and Executive Director,