After his inauguration in 1789, George Washington worshipped at this Classic Revival brownstone chapel, which found new fame in the aftermath of September 11. Although the World Trade Center was destroyed just a block away, St Paul's sustained only one broken pane of glass, earning it the nickname, 'The Little Chapel That Stood.' In the days following, it offered round-the-clock refuge, spiritual and emotional support and food service to first responders and rescue workers.
The austere white interior stands in contrast to the gilded 'Glory' altarpiece, which was designed by Pierre L'Enfant, who would later design the master street plan for Washington, DC. Displays along the sides tell the story of St Paul's in NYC history, while the small Chapel of Remembrance at the back displays touching artifacts from September 11, including a cross created from steel debris found in the destruction.
A major renovation was completed in 2016, which also marked the 250th anniversary of the church's life. The cemetery behind the church (which closes at 4pm) is the final resting place for a number of notable Revolutionary-era Americans.