173 East 3rd Street | Block : 399 | Lot #11
Description & Building Alterations
This lot is a conglomeration of several old lots that contain the Roman Catholic Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, the rectory, a former Catholic school for girls, a playground and former convent. The church was founded by Redemptorist Fathers and the complex was built in 1852 for the large German immigrant population. When the church was built, its steeple was much taller, only slightly shorter than St. Patrick’s Cathedral even though it predated that building. Archbishop John Hughes and Bishop John Neumann, the only male American citizen canonized as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, were present at the dedication. The architect, according to From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan’s Houses of Worship by David Dunlap was Mr. Walsh. This could have been Johannas Walsh, who was the only architect with the last name ‘Walsh’ in the NYC Directory from 1851-52.
Although somewhat eclectic, the overall design of the church is in a mix of the Baroque Romanesque and Byzantine Revival styles. It originally had a 250-foot tower. The building’s ornate facade often led to it being mistaken for a cathedral rather than a parish church. The original 1852 church facade was heavily remodeled in 1913 by Paul Schultz. This work eliminated ornamentation, reduced the Baroque curves, and shortened the steeple. At this same time, a rectory and school were also altered.
Block : 399 / Lot : 11 / Building Date : 1852/1913 alt. / Original Owner : Catholic Diocese of New York/ Original Use : Institutional / Original Architect : Mr. (Johannas) Walsh