Can you identify this building? – Series No. 2

Test your knowledge of historic and iconic buildings in the U.S. (and beyond!) in this series of “guess the building” blog posts.

Series No. 2: The “Cathedral of Presbyterianism”

A very modern grotesque was spotted high up on this nineteenth-century church with an impressive address. Some of the badly-deteriorated original stone carvings were replaced in the 1990s, which is when we suspect this fellow appeared. It may be a self-portrait by the stonecarver, a tradition that dates back to the construction of medieval cathedrals in Europe.

This brownstone church is often referred to as the “Cathedral of Presbyterianism.” The iconic hotel in the background is another good clue! Where is it? Scroll down for the answer.


5th ave


Answer: Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City. Completed in 1875, the church was designed by Carl Pfeiffer and is the largest Presbyterian sanctuary in Manhattan. Across the street is the 1904 St. Regis Hotel, also pictured above.


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Photos by Vertical Access.