Join Untapped Cities Insiders to explore the architectural and cultural history of the landmark St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. St. Augustine’s is one of a few churches in the country to preserve and restore its “slave galleries,” hidden rooms from its original 1820’s design created as spaces for slaves and free black New Yorkers to observe the church services while remaining out of sight. Though the space is sparse, it is a haunting reminder that slavery in the North was supported and segregation was strictly enforced within the Christian Churches. 

  • Explore the architectural design of this Episcopal Church from the 1820’s and how it supported racism and segregation of slaves and other people of color
  •  View a short 10 minute film that explains the discovery of the “slave galleries”
  • Tour the two “hidden rooms” where slaves were forced to wait and view while their owners participated in religious services

DATE: Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 from 2:00PM-4:00PM

PRICE: FREE for Untapped Cities Insiders!

CAPACITY: 40 guests. Spots allocated on a first come, first served basis.

REGISTRATION:  Friday, February 8th, at 12 PM EST


  • Wear comfortable shoes, as the tour requires walking up and down stairs
  • The slave galleries are not handicap accessible and some steps are involved for church access
  • Pictures are allowed, but no video, podcasts or ANY recording devices allowed
  • Public restrooms are available
  • ONLY water bottles allowed

St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church at 290 Henry Street was erected in 1828 and originally called All Saints Free Church before merging with the St. Augustine congregation that was on Houston Street in the 1940s. St. Augustine’s is the oldest church in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the building is the oldest structure on the block. The slave galleries were restored and preserved by The St. Augustine’s Project. , a primarily volunteer run non-profit that maintains the space and educates the public on the legacy of the neighborhood’s African American communities.

A past light installation, How the other 1/2 lived, inside the slave galleries

HOW TO BOOK: This is a members-only tour for Untapped Cities Insiders.

If you are already an Untapped Cities Insider, log in to your account, and sign up for this tour on this page when registration opens on 2/8 at 12 PM EST.

If you are not an Untapped Cities Insider yet, join today and register for this tour on this page when tickets go live on 2/8 at 12 PM EST.

If you don’t see a “Book Now” button on this page, it means you are not logged in as an Untapped Cities Insider and/or registration has not opened yet.

Tickets are limited to one per member, unless the member is an Explorer level member and can bring a guest. Tickets are non transferable and your membership must be active when the tour takes place. Each booking will be verified to ensure each guest is a member. 

Please be courteous of your fellow Insiders – if you are no longer able to make a tour but have ticket(s), let us know at so we can release those spots to other members. We hope you are as excited as we are about this experience and hope you can join us!

See our full list of Untapped Cities Insiders Tours and our upcoming Public Tours.