Bonus #2: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (1763-88)
St. Paul’s Church is located just North of the Bronx in Westchester County. Even though it is not in New York City, it is so close by that it deserves to be mentioned. The people of Eastchester began constructing the present St. Paul’s in 1763. The building was still unfinished when the Battle of Pell’s Point broke out in 1776, just one mile from the church. During the war, the British occupied the space and used it as a hospital. The original wooden structure, which stood in the village green opposite the new stone and brick building, which was still in use, was torn down by British and Hessian troops and used for fuel.
In 1776, General George Washington had ordered that all of the church bells in New York City be melted down and made into cannons. In order to save their bell, which had been made by the same foundry that cast the Liberty Bell, the parishioners of St. Paul’s buried it. Construction of the building resumed when the fighting was over. When the church was completed in 1788, the bell was recovered and hung in the new tower. The church remained active until the 1970s. It is now maintained by the National Park Service.