2. Church of St. Francis Xavier

Church of St. Francis Xavier
Photo Courtesy of the New York Landmarks Conservancy

The Barque-style church that now stands at 46 West 16th Street is the second structure built for the parish of St. Francis Xavier. In 1847, Jesuit priest John Larkin was sent from Fordham to Manhattan to found a new church. He landed on this site in Union Square. With a growing congregation, the existing church building soon became too small.

In 1878, the cornerstone of a new church was laid. The new structure, the one we see today, was designed by noted architect Patrick C. Keely and opened in 1882. The ornate building underwent an extensive restoration in 2005. This weekend for Sacred Site Open House, the church be open for self-guided tours on Sunday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.