2. Oldest Building in Morningside Heights
Just south of the Cathedral is a Greek Revival building that predates Saint John the Divine’s tenure on the Upper West Side. It was constructed in 1843 as the Leake and Watts Orphan Asylum and was designed by Ithiel Towne, who also designed Federal Hall.
In 1891, the Asylum moved to Westchester and Saint John the Divine intended to demolish the building in order to build the Cathedral’s crossing. For a number of years the church let the building deteriorate with the hopes that it would just fall down. Ultimately, the building was restored and now houses a state of the art Tapestry and Textile Conservation Laboratory as well as other Cathedral functions.