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Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, New York City

4.3
#36 of 53 in Historic Sites in New York City
Religious Site Architectural Building
The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, fondly called "Smoky Mary's" because of the use of incense in the services, is an Episcopal Anglo-Catholic church which is part of the Episcopal Diocese of New York of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. The church complex is located in the heart of Times Square at 133-145 West 46th Street, with other buildings of the complex at 136-144 West 47th Street, both between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in the borough of Manhattan in New York City.The church, which has been called "one of the finest Gothic-inspired designs of New York's late 19th century", was designated a New York City landmark in 1989, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.HistoryThe Society of the Free Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in the New York City was incorporated on December 3, 1868. The Rev. Thomas McKee Brown wanted to build a church in New York City dedicated to expressing the full witness of Catholic thought in ritual and teaching within the Episcopal Church. A year after his ordination, Father Brown brought his plan to Bishop Potter, who suggested that a church was needed near Longacre Square – which was renamed Times Square in 1905 – on the west side of what is now Midtown. John Jacob Astor gave three lots on West 45th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, "stipulating that the Church should be free, and positively orthodox in management and working."
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
59 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Stopped by there last week and very much enjoyed that they build everything else around it. The church is very small, yet very pretty. The inside is dark and has a very relaxed and peaceful atmosphere...  more »
  • In our wanderings through Manhattan we looked at also the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin's. Through the scaffolding in the entrance area, had we almost miss her, but were pleasantly surprised by the really beautiful and worth seeing inside. During our visit, just A rehearsed cappella choir of young men, which of course gave a wonderful atmosphere the whole. It went after a while of relaxing listening to then put it back in the hustle and bustle of the nearby time squares.
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  • I think good is definately different from other churches, are kept clean, overall, but especially the ceiling of the Church of starry sky like statues. I think might be visiting during the day like a night view, so I feel solemn rendition.
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Google
  • It is an absolutely beautiful church. You can recharge spiritually. No need to go to Rome it's right here in NYC.
  • Although I am an atheist, I really like this place. It's so nice to just sit and listen to the songs during worship. Beautiful place. Beautiful architecture. Near times square, it's weird, but convenient, because I live in the heart of New-York. I wish everyone at least once visit this wonderful place.
  • When you enter this vast gothic sanctuary, with its smell of incense and candle wax, you are transported beyond Times Square. The Mass here and the classical music/choir /organ are top notch and uplifting.
  • Awesome acoustics for classical music concerts, in particular choral music. Too bad the location is among the most inconvenient in the city due the proximity to Times Square
  • Found it on one of my first trips to nyc, it's one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen, and extremely welcoming.

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