7. St. George’s Episcopal Church (1856)

St. George Episcopal Church

St. George’s Episcopal Church, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Stuyvesant Square and is designed in the Early Romanesque Revival style. The original church was located near Trinity Church from 1752, and this new church was constructed from 1846-1856 by Charles Otto Blesch and Leopold Eidlitz, the latter of whom worked on the New York State Capitol Building.

Although not a predominantly African-American church, St. George’s is perhaps best known for having among its congregants Harry Thacker Burleigh, a Black composer and baritone. He was one of the first African-American composers, incorporating spirituals into much of his music. He was accepted to the National Conservatory of Music in New York and was known for his compositions like his versions of the spiritual “Deep River” and songs like “Little Mother of Mine.” Burleigh was hired as a soloist at St. George’s, at the time an all-white church, and the deciding vote in this decision was made by J.P. Morgan. Burleigh would go on to teach composer Antonín Dvořák “Negro melodies” and Native American music, which Dvořák would later incorporate into his famous Symphony From the New World and his American String Quartet.