Explore Our Church & Grounds
A Lychgate is a type of medieval portal, covered by a roof. Lychgates are rare In the United States, but are still found in England, mostly in rural areas. In days past, it was a place where preliminary prayers were offered for the deceased before the coffin was carried into the church. Our Lychgate was built in 1896. It was designed by Frederick Clark Withers and was the gift of Mrs. Franklin Delano. It was restored and re-dedicated on May 5, 2013.
Holy Family Chapel
The Holy Family Chapel is open Monday through Friday. Every day, it receives a steady stream of visitors who come in for a quiet moment, to light a candle, or to attend the daily Mass or prayer services. Its most memorable feature is the Brides’ Altar, which was installed in 1926. The painting above the altar is the Betrothal of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph. Tens of thousands of marriages have taken place before this altar.
The Westmacott Madonna
The Westmacott Madonna is located in the southwest corner of the chapel. This beautiful marble statue of the Madonna and Child is by Sir Richard Westmacott. R.A., who also did the portico sculptures at Buckingham Palace celebrating the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo.
The Joseph Jefferson Window
The Joseph Jefferson window on the South wall of the main church building memorializes the renowned actor who gave the Church of the Transfiguration its nickname, “The Little Church Around the Corner”. Jefferson is seen costumed as Rip Van Winkle, a role he was famous for. He is accompanying his deceased friend, George Holland to the church, where they are met by Jesus standing at the lychgate. The window is a gift of the Episcopal Actors Guild, and was installed in 1925.
The Arnold Schwartz Memorial Organ
This beautiful organ, named in memory of the major donor, Mrs. Marie Schwartz’s late husband, is Opus 92 of C. B. Fisk, Inc. Church of the Transfiguration has an extensive music program including a Men and Boys Choir and a Girls Choir. Our Music Director, Dr. Claudia Dumschat auditions children from all over the city. Those accepted for the choirs receive an excellent musical education and ample opportunities to perform.
The St. Joseph of Arimathea Chapel
The ceiling is decorated with renderings of Fra Angelico’s Glory in Paradise and The Last Judgment, painted on canvas panels which have been fitted between the ribs of the plaster vault. Also on view in this chapel is a large painted glass rendering of Raphael’s The Transfiguration. The entrance to the chapel is graced by polychromed wood carvings of the four Archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael.
Singing Boy and Compline Psalms
This beautiful statue dates from 1871 and is the work of Franklin Simmons, an American sculptor living in Rome. He seems right at home among the Compline Psalms. (Compline psalms are prayers said at the end of the day.) Fr. George Hendric Houghton, the founding rector, married a drawing teacher, Caroline Graves Anthon, who painted the psalms on parchment. After her death, Fr. Houghton had her paintings executed in glass as a memorial to her.