Friday, January 10, 2014

☞ REMEMBER: St. Joseph's circa 1906

A photo from 1906 shows St. Joseph's at the corner of 125th Street and Morningside Avenue.  We always wondered what stood at the open lot on the furthest corner north of the church and the archival image reveals that a building with Greek columns used to stand on that parcel of land.  The lower photo shows the Catholic church today without the said structure.   Does anyone know when the aforementioned building was torn down?

Archival photo courtesy of the Museum of the History of New York


  1. I looked it up in a 1916 map from the NYPL digital archives. Looks like the building was St. Joseph's Convent. I can't seem to find any more history about it on google in a quick search. Very intriguing!

  2. Actually that Greek Revival structure was the former Manhattanville Presbyterian Church, which later became the convent for the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament when they administered the School. Those nuns administered a few schools in Harlem as that; the evangelization and education of African Americans and Native Americans was and still is their mission. They staffed St. Catherine of Genoa on West 153rd St. and St. Thomas the Apostle at West 117th & St. Nicholas.

    Sadly St. Joseph's School closed in 2011. It was a fantastic school. I have friends who went there and it was great according to them as were all of the Catholic Schools in Harlem.

  3. The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament taught at St. Mark's on West 138th Street also and they may have taught at St. Charles on West 142nd Street too. If I remember correctly that order of nuns gradually left the Harlem Schools by the late 1950's and were replaced by local orders like the Sister s of Mercy from Dobbs Ferry, The Franciscan Handmaids of Mary from West 124th Street and the Dominican Sisters from Sparkill, NY