Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Manhattan Ward Chapel (purchased)

The first LDS Chapel owned in Manhattan was bought from the Central Christian Church, otherwise known as the Disciples of Christ in April 1945. The first services were held the following month in May. At this time, the ward had 330 permanent members. But out-of-town visitors usually made up about 80 percent of the congregation. It was thought to be the most transient ward in the Church. This new chapel had a seating capacity of 600. About 60 feet long and 40 feet high, the chapel had high arches, stained glass windows, a pipe organ, hardwood-paneled walls and clerestory windows. Considerable cleaning was done on the building totaling 500 hours of labor by the members. And improvements totaling $15,000 to all three floors were planned over the next two years. Originally built in 1892, I am unsure when the building stopped being used and sold. It now appears to be owned by the Mount Pleasant Christian Academy and Baptist Church. (Info from Church News, June 23, 1945, page 8)

142 West 81st Street
New York City, NY
Built 1892
Purchased 1945
Map Location of Building

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3 responses

  1. The 81st Street building was used until the church built a new chapel in 1975 (http://www.mormonstoday.com/nyc-lds-history/NYLDSHistorianV3N1.pdf) across from Lincoln Center. The latter now also houses the Manhattan Temple.

    October 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm

  2. Michael Ensign

    I attended the ward in 1963. It was told to me then that the building was built as a synagogue, then Baptist , then LDS.
    Beautiful building and a shame it wasn’t retained.

    October 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm

  3. Clark Hinckley

    In the early and mid-1970s, this was one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in New York. Members attending church as this facility had to walk past a bar on the corner of 81st Street and Amsterdam Avenue that was a major drug-trading venue.

    August 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm

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