- About Us
- People, Place & History
- Capital Projects
- Public Programs & Events
- Neighborhood Preservation Center
- Get Involved
St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery
Historical Significance of St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery
St. Mark’s Church stands on the oldest site of continuous worship in New York City and is the city’s second-oldest public building. The site was part of a farm (or “bouwerie”) purchased in 1651 by Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Director-General of the New Netherland colony. On the exact site of the present day church, Stuyvesant built his personal Dutch Reform Chapel and, in 1672, was buried in a vault beneath the church.
In 1793, Stuyvesant’s great grandson, Peter Stuyvesant II, asked Trinity Church to rebuild his family’s chapel on the site of his ancestors’ burial vault on the Bowery plantation. Alexander Hamilton, attorney for Trinity Parish, provided legal assistance in incorporating St. Mark’s as the first Episcopal Parish independent of Trinity Church in the New World. St. Mark’s Church was completed and consecrated on May 9, 1799.
In the early 19th century, many of New York’s most prominent families attended St. Mark’s and many were buried there. Today, along with that of Peter Stuyvesant are visible on vault markers such familiar names as Beekman, Fish and Tompkins. Other notable New Yorkers buried on the site include two Mayors of New York City: Gideon Lee, Vestryman and Treasurer of St. Mark's Church and Philip Hone, known as a chronicler of the city’s social life of his time.