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Washington Square United Methodist Church (former)

About this listing

A church known for its 1960's political activism, whose congregation is now part of The Church of the Village

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Greenwich Village
Institution, Place of Worship

Place Matters Profile

Note: the congregation moved from this building to another site in 2004, and the building is now residential.

Built in 1860 by wealthy Greenwich Village residents, the Washington Square United Methodist Church (WSUMC) is both a distinctive architectural space and, for over 50 years, a site of political and social activism in its community.

Originally founded in 1842 as the Sullivan Street Methodist Episcopal Church, by the 1850s the WSUMC's trustees were eager for a new home for their growing congregation. They chose the area around Washington Square--one of the city's most prestigious residential areas at the time--as the site for their new church. The architect selected to design the church, Gamalieh King, was a bit more adventurous than the location, as he was known primarily for his commercial structures. However, King was well known to the Cornell brothers, who were trustees of the church and owners of Cornell Iron...

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On The Web

The Church of the Village


Anonymous Nominator

Washington Square Church is a major landmark and spiritual center whose leadership and parishioners have historically been associated with civil rights and war resistance. The church has also fostered the avant garde in the arts. These activities reflect the independent and forward-thinking spirit that for centuries has characterized the people of Greenwich Village.

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