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Local Landmark: Church of the Immaculate Conception and Clergy House, 406-412 East 14th Street

One of the East Village’s earliest designated but perhaps least well known landmarks, is the Church of the Immaculate Conception and Clergy House, located at 406–412 East 14th Street between First Avenue and Avenue A, and designed a NYC landmark June 7th, 1966, just 8 months after the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission began designating landmarks, showing how highly they thought of its significance.

The church and clergy house were constructed in 1894-1896 by Grace Church, one of the most prominent Episcopal churches in the city at the time. The church was a free chapel – meaning there was no pew rent. When built, it was called Grace and Grace Hospital. The hospital could serve 16 senior citizens and 10 children, and was connected to the chapel by a bridge so that patients could be wheeled to services.

No. 406 East 14th Street, the former Grace Chapel, was designed by architect Barney & Chapman, and erected in 1894 in stone and Roman brick. This building is a prime example of Gothic Eclectic architecture, and in addition to being designated a NYC landmark, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The church consists of three major sections: a free-standing tower with clean-cut profile at center, a church section with a steep gable facing the street, and an attached intimate round chapel, and two wings of three and a half stories with peaked roofs.

Organ in Grace Chapel located at 406 East 14th Street. Photo ca. 1898.

The mission closed in 1943, after which the complex was bought by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. It was converted for the use of Immaculate Conception Church, which had lost its 1858 Gothic Revival church during the construction of Stuyvesant Town. The Immaculate Conception school had served the area since 1864. The existing facility was expanded with a four-story brick convent and parochial school at 415-419 E. 13th St. and 414-416 E. 14th Street, which were completed in 1945.

The prior Immaculate Conception Church at 505 East 14th Street. This building was demolished to make way for Stuyvesant Town. This undated photo was in a 1914 publication entitled “The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X, Volume 3.”

In February 2023, the Archdiocese of New York announced that the school would be closed at the end of the 2022-23 school year. It was the last Catholic school in the East Village following the closing of the St. Brigid School in 2019. Click here to see our tour of East Village churches.

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