East Village Building Blocks

334-336 East 14th Street | Block : 455 | Lot #24

  • Building Date : 1869-70
  • Original Use : Institutional
  • Original Owner : First German Baptist Church
  • Original Architect : Julius Boekell

Description & Building Alterations

This Romanesque Revival building was originally The First German Baptist Church, and later became the Ukrainian Autocephaic Orthodox Church of St. Volodymyr. Since 1962, the building has been home to Congregation Tifereth Israel, Town and Village Synagogue, which was founded in 1949. Previously, from 1926 until 1962, the building held the Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of St. Volodymyr. The religious structure, built in 1869-70 in the Rundbogenstil style, was designated a New York City Landmark in 2014. Here is a snippet of the building’s history from the designation report written by the Landmarks Preservation Commission:

“The First German Baptist Church, located at 334 East 14th Street, is a significant reminder of the evolving character of the Lower East Side and an excellent example of the Rundbogenstil style of architecture. The church was erected in 1869-70 at the northern boundary of Kleindeutschland, the thriving mid-19th-century German community. The building’s architect, Julius Boekell was a talented and prolific designer who worked almost exclusively for German clients within the German enclaves of New York. This is an early example of his work and is his only known church design. The building’s Rundbogenstil design incorporates such typical German Romanesque features as roughly coursed stone facings, large round-arch openings, arcuated corbel tables, belt and string courses, a central gable pierced by an ocular window, corner buttresses with carved finials, columned window frames, and slender multi-storied towers, which were originally capped by tapered spires. The use of specifically German sources and restrained handling of detail sets this apart from other many of the other surviving Rundbogenstil churches in New York. The German Baptist church emphasized the affirmation of German cultural identity and had roots in the Pietist theological movement, which favored basilican church designs with simple forms and chaste ornament, in keeping with the apostolic simplicity of the Early Christian Church.”

Block : 455 / Lot : 024 / Building Date : 1869-70 / Original Owner : First German Baptist Church / Original Use : Institutional / Original Architect : Julius Boekell

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