Photo: Harlem Preservation Foundation
St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church
St. Thomas the Apostle, designed by Thomas Poole and completed in 1907, is often cited as a classic local example of Neo-Gothic architecture. Located at 118th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem, the church was originally built for Irish congregants. It is recognized for its unique German pipe organ and stained glass windows designed by the world-renowned designer Frantz Meyer Studios of Munich. Over the past century, it has served generations of immigrants and played an important role in Harlem’s African American heritage.
The Archdiocese of New York closed the church in 2003 citing dwindling attendance and the need for $5 million in repairs. The current battle between preservationists and the archdiocese has stalled plans to demolish the church. The Preservation League of New York State recently named St. Thomas one of the seven most important New York State sites to save in 2005.