323-327 East 6th Street | Block : 448 | Lot #42
Description & Building Alterations
This one-story Greek Revival-style church was erected in 1847 by the German St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Ten years later the building became St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. The church was originally constructed in response to the growing German population in the downtown area in the 19th century. Today, it is one of the earliest Renaissance Revival churches in New York. It features an entrance enframement with a denticulated pediment, a pressed-metal cornice, molded window lintels and sills, and engaged pilasters flanking the building.
In June of 1904, the church organized a picnic for 1,300 people, mostly wives and children of German immigrant workingmen. The picnickers boarded the excursion steamer the General Slocum, and the boat departed from the East Third Street pier. As the boat moved up the river to the Long Island North Shore, a fire started in the lamp room below the main deck, setting the boat on fire and killing nearly everyone on it. The building was transferred to its current owner, the Community Synagogue Center, an Orthodox congregation formed by a group led by business leader Saul Birns, in 1940. It is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.
Block : 448 / Lot : 042 / Building Date : 1847 / Original Owner : German St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church / Original Use : Religious Institution / Original Architect : Unknown