Church of the Resurrection
National Register of Historic
The Church of the Resurrection was approved to be placed on The National Register of Historic Places in early December 2002.
The Church of the Resurrection
was the first established religious organization in Richmond Hill.
The village of Richmond Hill was formed on the western border of Jamaica.
On June 25th, 1868, The South Side railroad opened from Brooklyn to Jamaica,
opening up the land for development. Keen foresight on the part of Albon
Platt Man, a New York lawyer, and Edward Richmond, a noted landscape
architect enabled them to purchase the Lefferts
farm, in this western area of Jamaica on June 29th, 1868. Mr.
Man then persuaded the railroad company to build a railroad depot on his
Gleaming with jewel like
tones on the north aisle, the central panel depicts Christ as the "Good
Shepard", Jacob Riis called Elisabeth his "little lamb."
Richmond Hill Historian Carl Ballenas and President Nancy Cataldi did the historical research for the Church and architects Ivan Mrakovcic and Barry Lewis were responsible for the architectural review.
Being on the National Register opens up to the recipient eligibility for certain grants to restore and protect the historical structures. There is a special program for churches called "Sacred Sites" and now the Church is eligible for that treasured honor.
On November 2, 1996, the Church of the Resurrection was presented with a bronze plaque by the Queens Historical Society in recognition of the church's historical and architectural merits. The plaque has been permanently affixed at the entrance to the church so that passersby can note the church's importance in the past and future life of the community.
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Church of the Resurrection
"First Church erected in Richmond Hill"
Located- 85-09 118th Street, Kew Gardens, NY 11415
This Protestant Episcopal Church was the first
church erected in Richmond Hill in 1874 and is still located at same location
on 118th Street between Hillside and 85th Aves. The site for the church
was given by Albon Man, founder of Richmond Hill.
The building cost was about $5,500. A member of Grace Church New York City
gave $1,500 and the parishioners of Grace Church, Jamaica subscribed $1,000.
The balance of the money was raised by the ladies and children of the community
working in various ways.
The Church of the Resurrection, the oldest church in Richmond Hill, began as a mission set up by Grace Church, Jamaica, which in turn had been formed in 1702 with a charter from Queen Anne of England.
Sometime in 1866 or 1867, the Reverend George Cook, assistant minister at Grace Church, began to hold services in the old Long Island Railroad station between Hillside Avenue and Jamaica Avenue. The Richmond Hill Mission, as it came to be known, took root and a chapel was built over a carpenter's shop in the business block. The Richmond Hill chapel remained a mission until 1874 when the Reverend Joshua Kimber moved to Richmond Hill and took charge. On April 27, 1874, a meeting was held in the Public Hall and it was decided to incorporate under the name of Rector, Church Wardens, and Vestrymen, the Church of the Resurrection, at Richmond Hill, in the town of Jamaica, County of Queens, State of New York. Grace Church gave its blessing and one thousand dollars to the new church, which began independence with 21 communicants, 86 baptized persons, and a church school enrollment of 74. Two months later, six lots running from Church Street (118th Street) south of Central Avenue (85th Avenue) to Lefferts Boulevard were donated by Albon P. Man, who was active in the development of Richmond Hill. A small wooden frame church in the Gothic style was completed and dedicated on December 17, 1874. In 1886 a fire damaged the chancel but it was soon rebuilt.
In 1899, the Church of the Resurrection sponsored a mission to accommodate the population of the Brooklyn Manor section of Woodhaven. The mission, now known as St. Matthew's Church, held its first service on January 7, 1900.
The years after World War I were a period of rapid growth in Richmond Hill. This reflected, in part, the completion of the elevated line along Jamaica Avenue into Manhattan. The church, under the leadership of the Reverend Arthur R Cummings, responded to the rapid increase in population and its membership. In quick succession a new organ was installed (1921), the parish house was begun (1923), and the chancel and church were enlarged and extended. With these changes, the church took its present form, an adaptation of the French-Gothic style of the late fourteenth century with a massive stone base and tower.
The post World War II period was a time of growth and prosperity for
the parish and the community and there was a large increase in the population
due to the construction of apartment buildings. The Church of the Resurrection
has taken on many of the aspects of an urban church, at the same time retaining
its old atmosphere of neighborliness and friendship.
THE CORNER STONE
Among the many articles deposited in the corner stone were the following: Bible and Prayer Book; List of the Wardens and Vestrymen of the Church; List of Richmond Hill Association for Christian Work; Marble Book from Bishop Hobarts monument broken off at the taking down of old Trinity Church, N.Y.; Several Coins: English, Portuguese, Italian, and Belgian; Piece of Mosaic pavement from the Palace of Emperor Tiberius on Palatine Hill, Rome, Italy, (Note- It will be remembered that Tiberius was emperor of Rome at the time of the crucifixion); Piece of Rosso Antico from old Church of St. Peter and Paul; Fuori le Mure, Rome, Italy; Piece of Verde Antique from Church of St. Paul and St. John, Venice, Italy. The Gavel used in laying the corner stone was made of Olive wood from the Mount of Olives.
DESCRIPTION OF CHURCH
The nave has a seating capacity of approximately four hundred with a center aisle leading to the Chancel and Sanctuary. The side aisles lead to the Lady Chapel, which was completed in 1944, and the Baptismal Font which was dedicated on Easter Sundays 1900. The side aisles are lined with stained glass windows depicting various events in the life of Christ.
In the north aisle is the Good Shepherd stained glass window, which is the Riis family memorial. Jacob Riis, the famous reporter and urban reformer, and his family were members of this parish. A plaque commemorates the visit of Governor (later to become President) Theodore Roosevelt who attended the wedding of Jacob Riis' daughter, Clara, on June 1, 1900. In the south aisle are to be found the Episcopal Church flag and the American Flag that flew over the church building during World War II. A plaque below the flag is a memorial to men of the church who died while on military service. Also, on the wall of the south transept is the World War I memorial, which is a mosaic of David done in the Tiffany style. The baptismal font is in the front of the church, which is unusual for Episcopal churches. The mural over the baptismal font depicts the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist.
Over the west doors are four stained glass windows depicting the four archangels. The doors open into a Narthex containing memorial stained glass windows that depict the sacraments. Most of the intricate woodcarving in the chancel, done in chestnut that is no longer available, was done under the supervision of Alois Lang, of a famous Austrian family of woodworkers.
The building is rich in symbolism. The theme of the design of the chancel is Resurrection. The central window portrays the Resurrection of Christ in Eucharistic robes. On the Epistle side, the flanking windows portray Elijah and Job. On the Gospel side, they portray St. Peter and St. Thomas. Carvings on the reredos represent the Bible bearing witness to the Resurrection and the threefold offices of "the Christ". Angels of the Resurrection atop the reredos hold slim trumpets to announce the triumphant entry of Christ into heaven.
The theme of the Resurrection is continued in
the church grounds. The church is surrounded by the Memorial Garden, which
commemorates all those who hoped and believed in Him Who is the Resurrection
and the Life.