prominent brownstone church building was established as a summer chapel
with clapboard sidiing, grey shingles and a belfry in the countryside
north of New York City in 1810 on Hamilton Squar on East 59th Street
and Lexington Avenue.
The second church was built in 1869 on East 72nd Street, with
a lively Victorian Gothic fašade by James Renwick Jr. This edifice was
never consecrated. In 1884, it was sold to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox
Church. A fire in 1927 destroyed the building.
In 1885, it was rebuilt to a design by Robert H. Robertson in the Romanesque Style. The
church was built of rock-faced brownstone in the Romanesque style with
Lombard and Gothic details. Robertson's plans called for the altar to
be located on the west end, at Madison, rather than the traditional
east end, so that no new construction would block sunlight from
reaching the chancel windows. The Madison Avenue fašade included a
small spire, the curved wall of the apse, and a square tower at the
corner that was to rise over 150 feet. Although there was an entrance
in the square tower that led to an ante room off of the chancel, the
main entrance was located midblock on 71st Street. The church opened in
1885, although the tall tower was not built.
Ten years later, in 1895,
St. James merged with the Church of the Holy Trinity from East 42nd
Street and built a settlement mission, known as the Church of the Holy
Trinity, at 316 East 88th Street.