6. St. Paul’s Chapel Was Very Nearly Burned to the Ground
In the very first days of the American Revolution, the invasion of British troops sparked a tragedy referred to as the Great Fire of 1776, which destroyed 432 structures in New York. The fire spread to St. Paul’s Chapel and very nearly overwhelmed it, but a bucket brigade managed to put it out.
In fact, just a few years ago in 2009, Trinity Church Wall Street Parish uncovered one such fire bucket in the depths of St. Paul’s Chapel, dating back to the mid-1700s. However, the Great Fire did engulf the original Trinity Church, and as a result, St. Paul’s Chapel earned its title as the “oldest surviving church building in Manhattan.”