The Riverside Church is an interdenominational church located in Harlem in New York City. It is a notable landmark in the city famous for its striking Gothic architecture. It is also considered as the tallest church in the United States and 26th overall in the world.
Riverside Church History
The ecumenical Riverside Church has its beginnings when Baptist pastor Harry Emerson Fosdick decided on building a church that follows a more modern religious approach. The building itself was first planned sometime in 1922. Major financial support for the building came from generous donors, one of which was wealthy philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. who was also a member of the church headed by Pastor Fosdick. It was decided that a large cathedral-like building be built. Its construction started in 1927 and was completed in 1930.
The Riverside Church 119.48 meters tall with 19 floors overall found above ground. The structure was designed by architectural firm Pelton, Allen and Collens which was commissioned by Rockefeller. The church is of Neo-Gothic architectural style and was modeled after the Chartres Cathedral in France.
Riverside Church Features
The building is highlighted by its massive bell tower that houses a 72-bell carillon. It also contains a 20-ton bourdon, considered as the largest tuned bell in the world. The exterior buttressing of the church is mainly decorative as the structure is mainly built using modern steel framing. The nave of the church has a seating capacity of 2,100 people. The church was planned and built as a complex that also includes it own social services center, meeting rooms, classroom a daycare center, library, auditorium as well as a gym.