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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

The History of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery

The thing that I love most about St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery (besides the history, which I will get to in a moment) is the fact that this Church is truly a community space. Every time I walk by, I see folks hanging out on the chairs set up for the public in the churchyard and community events taking place inside. It's a beautiful use of historic space for the modern people who live in this area.

St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery is an iconic and historically significant landmark in the East Village of Manhattan, New York City. Built in 1799, it is one of the oldest sites of continuous worship in the city.

The church is notable for its role in the cultural, social, and political history of New York. St. Mark's has been a hub for various cultural movements throughout its history. In the 1960s, it became a focal point for the counterculture and the emerging East Village art scene, hosting poetry readings, performances, and art installations. When I visited this week, dance performances were taking place inside.

The churchyard is the final resting place of several notable figures, including Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch director-general of the colony of New Netherland, and a major figure in the early history of New York City.

The church's historical significance, architectural beauty, and its role in the cultural life of the city make St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery a revered and cherished landmark in New York City.

Given its age, historical events, and the people buried in its churchyard, tales of hauntings and ghostly sightings have circulated. I've been on several history tours in this area which have claimed that the spirit of Peter Stuyvesant actually haunts this building.

There are stories of apparitions reported by visitors, especially in the churchyard. Some claim to have seen spectral figures or felt a sense of unease, attributing it to the age and history of the church.

This church is doing everything right when it comes to giving back, and creating a community space.

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