Little Church Around the Corner

A tranquil church with a peaceful courtyard in the heart of Midtown is known by its nickname – the “Little Church around the corner.”

Location: 1 East 29th Street

Founded: 1848

Architect: Frederick Clarke Withers

Tucked away behind a serene courtyard, the Church of the Transfiguration is an unexpected oasis amid the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhattan. It owes its notoriety to a peculiar incident which happened here back in the 19th century.

The story has it that in 1870 when the actor George Holland passed on, his funeral was supposed to be held in a church on Madison Ave. Upon finding out that the deceased was an actor, the pastor refused to bury him, suggesting to try ‘the little church around the corner’ instead. (In the 19th century, the profession of acting was not considered an honorable one.)

The Church of the Transfiguration agreed, and from then on became known as the “Little Church Around the Corner.” The incident was reported in the newspapers, which gave wide notoriety to the obscure little church and attracted a large membership among actors.

The Little Church Around the Corner held many actors’ funerals including the funeral of Edwin Booth – the famous Shakespearean actor who incidentally was a brother of President Lincoln’s assassin.

The romantic Little Church Around the Corner was and still is a popular place to get married in the city. It’s here that Samantha from Sex and the City tried to catch the eye of a good-looking priest.

The church houses one of the finest organs in the country and offers free lunchtime music concerts every Tuesday at 12:30 in the fall and the spring ($5 suggested donation).

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