St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery competes for top preservation prize

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Church one of 40 NY landmarks chosen for contest

St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery has a long history of connecting the arts and spirituality and of pursuing social justice and community empowerment through religious worship, music, poetry, dance and more. —Rector Winnie Varghese

St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery is one of 40 New York landmarks chosen to compete for a portion of $3 million in grant money marked for historic preservation projects through Partners in Preservation. Today St. Mark’s launches a new social media campaign to publicize its participation in the competition.

St. Mark’s is the oldest site of continuous worship in New York. A long line of notable architects have contributed to the church’s design, including James Renwick, Jr., the famed architect of the “Castle” in the Smithsonian Institute and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. If successful in the contest, St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery plans to use the grant funds to restore the circa 1858 cast iron portico that serves as the church’s entry way. The cast iron in the portico is attributed to James Bogardus, noted early proponent and innovator of cast iron construction.

“St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery has a long history of connecting the arts and spirituality and of pursuing social justice and community empowerment through religious worship, music, poetry, dance and more,” said Rector Winnie Varghese. “Winning this grant would give us a wonderful opportunity to preserve this tradition.”

St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery is located in New York City’s East Village, at the intersection of 10th Street and Second Avenue. The property has been the site of continuous Christian worship for more than three-and-a-half-centuries and is the second-oldest church building in Manhattan. The church’s buildings and burial grounds were designated a New York City Landmark in 1966, and the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today St. Mark’s is a thriving, diverse and welcoming Episcopal congregation that partners with three progressive arts projects: Danspace, Incubator Arts and The Poetry Project to create daily opportunities for arts, activism a spiritual renewal for New Yorkers. St. Mark’s has a long history of supporting the arts and social justice, dating back to the 1920s when Isadora Duncan danced at the church. Today the church is a progressive Episcopal congregation and continues to serve as a center for modern dance, experimental theater and poetry and as a community gathering place for the Lower East Side.

Online voters anywhere in the world can cast votes each day for three weeks from April 26 through May 21, by visiting http://partnersinpreservation.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/PartnersinPreservation. The top three vote winners automatically receive grant funds, plus an additional number of finalists will receive some funds.

To encourage supporters to vote in the contest, St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery is launching a 25-day social media campaign that will highlight its unique contributions to the community and involvement in the arts. St. Mark’s Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/stmarksbowery.

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St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery is located in New York City’s East Village, at the intersection of 10th Street and Second Avenue. The property has been the site of continuous Christian worship for more than three-and-a-half-centuries and is the second-oldest church building in Manhattan. St. Mark’s has a long history of supporting the arts and social justice, dating back to the 1920s. Today the church is a progressive Episcopal congregation and continues to serve as a center for modern dance, experimental theater and poetry and as a community gathering place for the Lower East Side.

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Erin White
Camino Public Relations
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