Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > New York City History > 44. Trinity Church, New York

44.  Trinity Church, New York, perspective view. Watercolor on paper (52.6 x 67 cm.), ca. 1840. Avery Library, Drawings and Archives, Upjohn Collection

At the head of Wall Street stands Trinity Church built by the dean of American Episcopalian architects, the Englishman Richard Upjohn. Upon his arrival in the United States, Upjohn passed the first five years in Boston where he met Dr. Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, who became the Rector of Trinity in 1838. The standing structure of the church was found to be unstable and the new rector called in Upjohn to build a new church, which was dedicated in 1846. This rendering, thought to be executed by Fanny Palmer, an artist for Currier & Ives, portrays the urban church as a typical English countryside church rather than the dominant element of its neighborhood.

Upjohn was joined in his practice by his son, Richard Michell Upjohn, most famous for his design of the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford. His son, Hobart, also became an architect, with a practice in the New York area and North Carolina. Hobart's son, Everard, also an architect, taught at Columbia for many years. Upon the request of Avery Librarian Talbot Hamlin, Everard and his children gave his family's architectural drawings to the library through a series of donations, the last in 1983. The papers of the firm were donated to the New York Public Library.

Gift of the Upjohn Family

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