No visit to the World Trade Center site is complete without a visit to Saint Paul’s Chapel.
Saint Paul’s is the oldest public space in continuous use in New York City – since 1766. George Washington attended services here, including on the day he was inaugurated first President of the United States.
Saint Paul’s played a very special role in the days and months following the collapse of the World Trade towers. Immediately across the street from the South Tower, Saint Paul’s did not so much as suffer a single pain of cracked glass, though buildings were damaged for blocks around. The churchyard was covered with debris. A large sycamore tree in the yard was toppled over, but no damage whatsoever was inflicted on the church. Saint Paul’s has rightly become known as ”The Little Church that Stood.”
Saint Paul’s immediately became a place where people who suffered from the World Trade disaster could come for first aid, respite and refreshment. It would become a ministry that the church would offer for over 8 months first to the victims and rescue workers, then the recovery and clean-up workers at the World Trade sight.
When memorials were sent from around the world, they were displayed inside Saint Paul’s Chapel. Soon the Chapel’s walls were covered. The memorial pieces were then hung on the cast iron fence surrounding the church. Soon, the fence was covered.
Saint Paul’s Chapel holds a very special place in the hearts and minds of New Yorkers. It is from Saint Paul’s that Mayor Gulliani chose to deliver his farewell speech to the City, having served the two terms he was allowed to serve as Mayor.
On your tour of New York City with us, we want to share with you Saint Paul’s Chapel.