Tuesday, June 3, 2014


The controversial new residential building to be built on the grounds of St. John the Divine at the 113th Street side of the cathedral is well on its way to becoming a reality and posters up on the plywood show that two buildings will eventually rise on the large lot in Morningside Heights.  It appears that the church also fondly known as St. John the Unfinished has worked with the developer to have some sort of side entrance to be built as part of the plan but it all somehow looks very 1960s and non-contextual. When done right, something modern like the glass pyramid at The Louvre in Paris can often compliment a grand work of old architecture but this new addition located between Amsterdam and Morningside Drive is rather heavy-handed in our opinion.


  1. Ugh:
    "St. John’s is the largest Gothic – style Cathedral in the world, a global landmark and has been nominated as an endangered historic site. As the illustrations show, the new towers will rise up to the eaves of the Cathedral, blocking the superb stained glass windows, the beautifully detailed Gothic statuary and dramatic buttresses. The towers will darken the north portion of its glorious nave."


    1. Unfortunate. Seems there is more to this than is mentioned. Hope this decision will not be regretted one day.

  2. yikes. this is terrible. it reminds me of the awful monolith 'sugar hill project' on 155th, built with complete disregard for existing historic architecture. yikes again, but also yuck.

  3. That's criminal.

  4. Side entrance or not, its hideous in relation to the Cathedral, the neighborhood and the view from the other side of Morningside Park. I always look in that direction as the bus goes up or down Manhattan Avenue and take in the view. Now that will be gone and this I'm afraid was a mistake. One wonders what St. John's was thinking when they approved this design and exactly what thinking went into it.

  5. Ideally this lot should be well tended gardens allowing full view of the ornate buttressing. Another Church in a higher real estate neighborhood that comes to mind is Grace Church on 10th and Broadway. http://gvshp.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/merged-images1.jpg

  6. Hate to see this neighborhood and global treasure so increasingly walled-in. That mausoleum-like entrance is AWFUL.