Sunday, May 04, 2008

City Walk #19 - Upper West Side 4: Church and Gown

Card no. 33 - photos
Take a tour of church and gown uptown.

Begin at 110th Street (Cathedral Parkway) and Broadway (1 or 9 train or M104 bus to 110th Street (Cathedral Parkway).
Head west on 110th Street (Cathedral Parkway) to Riverside Drive, and turn right past some of the city's handsomest apartment buildings, many owned by Columbia University and carefully doled out to faculty. Continue north, past the statue of Samuel Tilden, onetime governor of New York, to the Interchurch Center at #475, known locally as the "God Box." Directly across West 120th is Riverside Church, an early-20th-century temple to Protestant enlightenment financed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and modeled on Chartres. Rockefeller largesse also made possible Sakura Park, at West 121st Street, and beyond it, International House, a foreign-student residence. Directly opposite Riverside Park is Grant's Tomb. Return to West 121st Street and walk downhill to Claremont Avenue and the Union Theological Seminary, found in 1836. Its neighbor, the Jewish Theological Seminary, at the corner of West 122nd and Broadway, dates to 1886. Six blocks south on Broadway is Columbia University, whose massive buildings are laid out across a beautiful campus. Enter at the West 116th Street gate and walk straight through to Amsterdam Avenue, then head south to 112th Street and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, begun in 1892 and still unfinished. No matter - this is one of New York's liveliest sacred places, beloved for its musical offerings, its annual Blessing of the Animals (on the Sunday closest to October 4, the fest of St. Francis of Assisi), its liberal politics, and the peacocks that roam its grounds.

From City Walks: New York: 50 Adventures on Foot by Martha Fay

No comments: