5. Brooklyn – Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church

Lafayette Ave Presbyterian
Photo Courtesy of the New York Landmarks Conservancy

One of the unique features of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church that you can learn more about this weekend is the hand-painted mural that rings in the sanctuary at the balcony level. Titled Cloud of Witnesses, the painting was created in the 1970s by Hank Prussing. A recent graduate of Pratt Institute at the time, Prussing took photographs of people in the neighborhood going about their daily lives and used those images to inspire the figures in the mural.

The church was founded by prominent Brooklyn families who lived in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene and was known as the “temple of abolition.” It is one of the many sites in New York City believed to have been a stop on the underground railroad and to have hosted speakers such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. Over the Sacred Sites weekend, the church will be open for self-guided and guided tours on Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.