Tue-Thu, noon-5pm; Fri, noon-3pm; Sat, noon-5pm, Sun, 11am-8pm; Mon, closed
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R at 14th St.-Union Sq.; N, R at 8th St.-NYU; 6 at Astor Pl.
In 1843 when architect James Renwick Jr. won a contest to design the new Grace Church, he was only 24, it was his first commission, and he chose a style he'd never seen in person: Gothic. But the enterprise proved a remarkable warm-up for later accomplishments—St. Patrick's Cathedral and Washington's Smithsonian Castle among them—and today remains a stately sentinel where Broadway bends at 10th Street in Greenwich Village. The history of the congregation, like Renwick’s church itself, is one of upward mobility. As the Episcopal patronage grew in wealth and prestige in the mid-19th century, the church replaced its original 180-foot spire of wood and plaster with one made of marble. (There’s also some gorgeous Pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows.) Inside, the church positively hums with activity, much of it musical, with frequent organ and choir concerts often accompanying weddings. (Tom Thumb and his small bride were married here as were, in a way, two Edith Wharton characters.) Adult education classes favor the religious over the secular.