New Haven's spacious green has been the spiritual center of the city since its Puritan fathers designed it in 1638 as the prospective site for Christ's second coming. Since then it has held the municipal burial grounds – graves were later moved to Grove Street Cemetery – several statehouses and an array of churches, three of which still stand.
The 1816 Trinity Church (Episcopal) resembles England's Gothic York Minster, featuring several Tiffany windows. The Georgian-style 1812 Center Church on the Green (United Church of Christ), a fine New England interpretation of Palladian architecture, harbors many colonial tombstones in its crypt. The 1814 United Church (also United Church of Christ), at the northeastern corner of the green, is another Georgian-Palladian work.
Across Church St, the 14ft bronze Amistad Memorial stands in front of City Hall on the spot where 55 kidnapped African slaves, who sought their freedom and seized control of the slave-ship Amistad, were imprisoned in 1839 while awaiting one of a series of trials that would ultimately release them.