8. The United Palace Was Renamed for Inclusivity

United Palace stage
Image courtesy The United Palace

When the church purchased the theater building, it was renamed the “United Palace” to ensure that all would feel welcomed when they stepped inside. This feeling of inclusivity has been a core value of all three factions of the United Palace: the venue and theater, the spiritual center, and the United Palace of Cultural Arts non-profit. “We want people to believe that this building belongs to them,” said Rev. Ike in The City Concealed. “We call it the heart of Washington Heights.”

Following Rev. Ike’s death in 2009, his son, Xavier, turned the church into an-all inclusive spiritual center. Likewise, the United Palace of Cultural Arts nonprofit functions as a community arts center, which screens movies and offers performing arts events with a larger goal to educate and unite the neighborhood.