St. Anthony of Padua Church
Built in the mid-1880’s, St. Anthony of Padua Church’s construction reflected the growing South Village Italian-American community, and its desire to form a new parish for the Italian-American community independent of the Irish-American parishes which dominated lower Manhattan up to that time. Until St. Anthony’s construction, the local parish was the Old St. Patrick’s on Mulberry Street. Built in the Romanesque style, the church makes a powerful impression. The view of the church is somewhat askew since the widening of Houston Street in 1940 resulted in the demolition of the buildings to its north, leaving the church’s façade and northern wall unintentionally open to Houston Street, instead of tightly nestled within the dense fabric of tenements it was intended for.
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