Riverside Church Photo
Riverside Church Photo

In the latest issue of our Top 5 New York City Churches you discovered the beautiful Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Today, we’ll stop at The Riverside Church which stands like a beacon at the northern end of Manhattan island. It is located in the neighborhood of Harlem. In a city filled with skyscraping buildings the Gothic masterpiece still manages to stand tall. In fact, the Riverside Church is the tallest church in the entire United States and is currently the 26th tallest in the world. More than just a large structure, the Riverside Church has acted as a longtime sanctuary and celebratory hall for generations of Harlemites. Indeed, the church is known as much for its activism and community involvement as it is for its towering steeple.

The Riverside Church has been a welcoming house of progressivism in New York City, protest and open ideals since it opened with the support of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1930. The church was largely built to oppose the fundamentalist views on Christianity of the time in favor of an interdenominational parish, constructed with the architectural traditions of the past. The inclusive mission of the church has been embraced by many more that just its Uptown neighbors, with past speakers at the church including Martin Luther King, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela and even Fidel Castro. The church was an active member of the anti-Vietnam war effort and Civil Rights movement and continues to support an active Social Justice mission to this day. Today’s Riverside Church holds film screenings, talks and presentations relating to the pressing issues facing the world today, ranging from Nuclear disarmament to issues relating to H.I.V./Aids. The Riverside Church’s location is ideal for a day spent visiting Harlem and the shores of the Hudson River. The church sits directly across from the impressive memorial to General Grant and the green space of Riverside Park, perched just above the water of the Hudson River. The slight rise of the location offers views of the George Washington Bridge, Midtown Manhattan and the Palisades Park area across the river in New Jersey.

New York City accommodations fill quickly during the spring and summer seasons, visitors looking to stay in a vacation rental in Harlem during their stay should get their search started soon. Below are a few choice apartments to get your search going:
– This New York studio apartment rental in Harlem, Uptown (NY-12768) is housed in a classic Harlem brownstone featuring hardwood floors and an open layout.

– This 2-bedroom apartment rental in Hamilton Heights, Uptown, New York (NY-12770) features exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, and modern furnishings.

– This 1-bedroom New York brownstone vacation rental apartment in Harlem, Uptown (NY-12509) features an open kitchen, exposed-brick wall and hardwood floors.

Have you visited Riverside Church? Share your tale below. In the next issue of our Top 5 New York City Churches you’ll learn more about St. Paul’s Chapel a real symbol for the city, so do not miss it!