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Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site

 

Contact Information:

Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site
897 South Columbus Avenue
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
(914) 667-4116

Additional Information:
Official Park Page

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Books:
National Landmarks, America's Treasures: The National Park Foundation's Complete Guide to National Historic Landmarks
America's Best Historic Sites: 101 Terrific Places to Take the Family


Saint Paul's Church National Historic SiteThis 18th-century church is one of New York's oldest parishes (1665-1980). It was used as a hospital following the important Revolutionary War Battle at Pell's Point in 1776, and was the scene of various military developments for the next six years. The church stood at the edge of Eastchester village green, the site of the "Great Election"(1733), which raised the issues of Freedom of Religion and Press. The adjoining cemetery contains burials dating from 1704.

Increasing industrialization of the area around St. Paul's Church in the early 20th century led to the decline of the parish. In 1942, as part of an effort to revitalize the congregation and draw attention to the site's historical significance, the interior of the church was restored to its 18th century appearance, based on the original pew plan of 1787. A committee chaired by Sara Delano Roosevelt, mother of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, raised funds for the project.

While the restoration initially succeeded in reviving the congregation, by the 1970s the parish had dwindled to only a handful of worshippers. The last regular Sunday service at St. Paul's occurred in May 1977. In 1980, the site was transferred from the Episcopal Dioceses of New York to the National Park Service. The site opened to the public in 1984 and is operated under a cooperative agreement with the Society of the National Shrine of the Bill of Rights at Saint Paul's Church, Eastchester.

Staff-led tours take you up the 225 year old church tower to see a bell cast in 1758 at the same foundry as the Liberty Bell. You will also see and hear the sounds of the 1833 pipe organ, one of the oldest functioning organs in America.

The self-guided tour, "Exploring Early American History at St. Paulís", explores the Colonial and Revolutionary periods. The historic cemetery, one of the oldest in the country, has a fascinating variety of stones covering 300 years. The Museum has permanent and rotating exhibitions on display.

Getting There:
Take Interstate 95 to Exit #13, Conner Street, which is in the northern Bronx. Turn onto Conner Street. This would be a right if you've exited from I-95 South. If you've exited from I-95 North, make a left at the first traffic light off the exit onto Tilloston Avenue, and then a left at the next light, onto Conner Street. Proceed north on Connor Street about 1 mile. Conner changes names to Provost Street and, as you pass into Westchester County, it becomes South Third Avenue. About 1/4 miles after it becomes South Third, make a right at the Stop sign onto So. Columbus Avenue. Then make a right into the St. Paul's driveway.