14. St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church

If you find yourself in lower Manhattan, take a moment to stop by St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church, located between Fulton Street and Vesey streets. The church, which is one of the oldest buildings in the city and one of a few physical remnants of New York City’s colonial past, also boasts a large cherry tree on its grounds.

Trees are an important part of St. Paul’s, as some of them acted as natural and necessary support beams for the chapel. Findings from a restoration project which were recounted in a 1962 Parish Newsletter, revealed that tree trunks were actually holding up the roof. The report notes, “When the square casing at the base of the great columns was removed, it was found that the actual tree trunks, which uphold the roof, are of pine, of about 24” in diameter at the base. These bases were worked into octagonal shape up to a height of 44”. The huge tree trunks are each set on a stone base. Thus, each column of the nave is one great tree trunk, faced with fluted wood casing.” See them for yourself on one of our upcoming Hidden Gems of the Financial District walking tours!