Riverside Church
Upper West Side, New York City
Riverside Church in the Morningside Heights section of New York City is the tallest church in the United States (24th in the world). Neo-gothic in design, construction began in 1927 and was completed in 1930 (source: http://www.theriversidechurchny.org). It was funded largely by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the only son of oil magnate, John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Since its construction, the Church has been a “center for lively political discussion” (source: wikipedia.org) and described by the New York Times as “a stronghold of activism and political debate.” Among the notables who spoke in its pulpit are Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, and Kofi Annan.

With this roster of high-caliber speakers inside an opulent structure compounded by the backing of a financial behemoth no less than a Rockefeller, one might think that Riverside Church is exclusive to New York’s powerful and elite. Yet despite that, the Church operates at the community level. Its programs -- yoga, meditation, narcotics anonymous, among many others -- foster a commitment “towards mature, effective Christian living.”

And, as envisioned by its instigator, the philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr., Riverside Church -- although affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Churches -- was built from the ground up to be and continues to be interdenominational. It is welcoming of all Christians regardless of ethnicity, religious background, and economic stature.

If you are looking for a church home, so hails its website, “Join us here at the Riverside Church”. There, “you will be welcomed with a hearty handshake or more likely a hug.”

Click on a picture to enlarge.
Riverside Church.
The orientation of Riverside Church is different from other churches I've been to in that entrance is on the side. I was initially trying a door which I thought was the front but was locked. I was about to leave when a tour bus arrived and unloaded tourists who were then guided to the “side” entrance. I simply went in with them.
One nice thing about Riverside Church is that tripods are allowed. When I asked security if I can use my tripod his response was like huh-why-couldn't-you-?. So I got to mount my tripod center aisle front and back and then on the sides.
Its 400-foot tower makes Riverside Church the tallest church in the United States.. It also has the largest carillon (bellfry or bell tower) in the world.
Riverside Church’s bell tower is a prominent feature of the upper Manhattan skyline especially when seen from New Jersey, because the church is essentially situated on a long bluff overlooking the Hudson River.
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