Welcome to St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, the oldest site of continuous worship in New York City and the second oldest church in Manhattan. Not only is the St. Mark’s campus a beautiful collection of buildings and burial grounds, its unique and interesting history is quintessential New York. The site is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a New York City Landmark in 1966.
The St. Mark’s Church and its yards are just a few reminders of the once vast “bouwerie,” or Dutch plantation, which Peter Stuyvesant, governor of New Amsterdam purchased in 1651 from the Dutch West India Company. When Stuyvesant died in 1672, his body was interred in a vault under the family chapel he’d had built in 1660. In 1793, Stuyvesant’s great-grandson, Petrus Stuyvesant, donated the chapel property to the Episcopal Church with the stipulation that a new chapel be erected and on April 25, 1795, the cornerstone of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery was laid.