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The current building is the second building of the church. The first building was constructed on St. John’s Ave. (hence the road’s name), just a few blocks down from the actual location. It was designed by Arthur D. Gilman and built between 1869 and 1871. It is of Victorian Gothic style and is reminiscent of a typical church in England, where the Anglican Church originates. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a replica of Shakespeare’s church in England.


The entire church was renovated in 1955, and once again in 2013 following the damages of Hurricane Sandy.

Multiple architectural features make the church unique in its design. There are buttresses on the ends at the arch, along with point arch stained glass windows throughout the church. Beneath the church sits a storage area and the heating unit. Due to these significant architectural features and its history, the church was designated as a New York City Landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (Number LP-0373) in 1974.


There was a parish house designed by the same architect; however, it was demolished in the 1990’s, following years of disuse and neglect. Canterbury House currently stands where the old Parish House used to be.

Read more about St. John’s Church on the New York City Landmark Designation Report by clicking here or view the original document.

Photo credits by Brian Kutner and Michael Adams

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