The cornerstone of the current edifice at Central Park West and 65th Street was laid November 9, 1902, and the church was dedicated May 10, 1904. The structure along with its sanctuary furniture and ornamentation was designed by William Schickel, a native of Germany and a New York architect of national reputation noted for his church buildings. Its gothic revival style derives from southern Germany and France.
The front of the sanctuary is dominated by a reredos with ceramic mosaic on its surrounding wall plus a high altar and a newer freestanding altar. The upper altar, of white Carrera marble, depicts in stone carving the traditional symbols of the Holy Trinity – three small and three large interlocking circles in a triangle, all within a single, encompassing circle of unity. The lower freestanding altar, dedicated in September of 1999 and designed by Carlton Architects, was constructed by Jean Claude Marchiano, master stone carver at St. John the Divine in NYC.
The mosaics, to either side of the the high altar reredos are rendered in traditional Byzantine iconographic style and depict the four Evangelists: Matthew (shown center), Mark (right), Luke and John, plus the two founders of the church, Apostles Peter (left) and Paul. These were completed in the 1950’s by Charles Lamb Studios to flank the central figures of Christ with two angels which the same studio had created in the 1920’s.
Stained Glass Windows
The memorial stained glass windows, by multiple studios, are among the finest in New York church architecture. They each depict a scene from the New Testament beginning on the north wall with the Nativity, Baptism of Christ, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Last Supper, then to the south wall with the Crucifixion, Resurrection, the Second Coming (by Tiffany Studios) and the Pentecost. On the east wall of the nave above the pipe organ is a large rose window with decorative art glass, very prominent as viewed from Central Park across the street.
The Rear Gallery Organ
Music is clearly an integral part of the ministry at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and a major emphasis both during Sunday Morning Mass and the evening Bach Vespers services. Central to that presence is the pipe organ in the rear gallery of the nave. Pictured here is the recently installed 20 manual instrument by renowned organ builder Paul Fritts. For more information about the Fritts Op. 16, please visit the Organ page.