Metropolitan Baptist Church

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

151 West 128th Street

ARCHITECT: John R. Thomas

DATE: 1884-85

STYLE: Gothic, Romanesque Revival

Gothic Harlem Manhattan Romanesque Revival

Designed in two sections by different architects, the Metropolitan Baptist Church (originally the New York Presbyterian Church) is a fine example of the many new churches built in Harlem during the late 19th century at a time when the local church represented wealth and stability to the community. The building is distinguished by a somewhat unusual blend of the Gothic and Romanesque Revival styles, both favored in part for their imposing character, and reflects the importance of its original congregation.

The earlier section of rough-faced limestone church, fronting on West 128th Street, was planned by John Rochester Thomas in 1884. It housed a small lecture room/chapel and was erected with the intention of adding a principal auditorium structure at a later date. The addition, comprising the Seventh Avenue facade and the northern section of the church, was completed in 1890 and designed by Richard R. Davis. Davis’ extension, with its dominating gable and towers, complemented the Thomas design incorporating many details from the earlier structure.

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

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