Welcome to the New York Architecture Diary, your essential guide to architecture exhibitions and events taking place across the city.
Gotham’s oldest ongoing holiday tradition isn’t around a single tree in midtown, but surrounded by trees uptown. Prior to enjoying the 108th annual recitation of Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas” at the Church of the Intercession, discover the adjacent historic grounds of Trinity Church Cemetery. Here Moore keeps company with another bearer of Christmas tidings: David C. Colden, American friend of Charles Dickens, who was likely the first New Yorker to get a copy of the British author classic novella, “A Christmas Carol.” Established in 1842, Trinity Church Cemetery is upper Manhattan’s only still-admitting burial ground, laid out by James Renwick, Jr. and later improved by Calvert Vaux. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, its grounds represent Gotham’s wide-ranging contributions to American history. Columbia Community Scholar Eric K. Washington, an authority on who’s who beneath this verdant landscape, leads this tour. Other notable permanent residents on the route besides Moore may include John James Audubon, naturalist; New York City Mayors Cadwallader D. Colden, Fernando Wood, A. Oakey Hall and Edward I. Koch; Eliza Jumel, adventuress; David Hosack, Alexander Hamilton’s last doctor; John Jacob Astor, merchant; Philip Ernst, original New York Philharmonic flutist; Dita H. Kinney, military officer; Caroline Astor, doyenne of Gilded Age society; Rita de Acosta Lydig, legendary American beauty; Mercedes de Acosta, sapphic paramour of the Roaring ‘20s; and Captain Michael Hogan, high seas adventurer and diplomat.The tour ends at Intercession in time for this year’s reading of Moore’s famous poem by NYS Assemblyman Al Taylor (in honor of late Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell), and following procession to the author’s grave. Please wear shoes that are suitable for rustic country paths.