New York Architecture Images- Midtown

Holy Cross


Henry Engelbert


329 West 42nd St




Italianite Gothic form with Romanesque Revival touches.






Special thanks to (British and international church architecture site) for generous permission to use images and info.



West Midtown is punctuated neatly every few acres with modest urban Catholic churches such as this one. Often they fit very neatly into a pocket in the surrounding skyscrapers and present an unusual refuge from a very hectic part of the city.


This church is the oldest remaining building on 42nd Street. However 
it is the second church on the site, the first building of 1852 being 
of wood with an iron gable cross which was not such a good idea as it 
was struck by lightning and the church destroyed by the subsequent 
The rebuilding took place from 1868-70 to the designs of Henry 
Engelbert. It has a red brick facade with flanking twin towers in an 
Italianite Gothic form. Behind can be glimpsed the white central tower 
and dome which rises to 148 feet. 

The interior is an eclectic mixture of Georgian classical, Romanesque 
and Byzantine forms. The nave and aisles are short for their height, 
only two bays plus the west bay deep, and have gallleries which 
continue across the transepts. Domed central tower over the crossing 
and a further bay for choir and side chapels and a full-height east 
sanctuary with classical paintings and pilaster below but a Hagia Sofia 
- like row of upper windows.The capitals more Byzantine than classical 
in design. 
The mosaics below the dome and in the sanctuary are by Tiffany, as is 
the stained glass of the clerestory windows and wheel windows of the 
transepts. The glass in the sanctuary windows was made by Mayer & Co of