First Presbyterian Church Celebrates Bicentennial

Brooklyn’s First Presbyterian Church was established in March of 1822, and has been in continuous operation since. It is located at 124 Henry Street, just south of Clark. To celebrate the Church’s bicentennial, it will be presenting “a year long calendar of events” that are open to the public. We will notify you of any upcoming events.

First Presbyterian has enjoyed a long and storied history within Brooklyn Heights,” said Senior Minister Rev. Adriene Thorne. “On this anniversary, we look back on the last 200 years to reflect upon the church’s beginning and the people who began FPC’s journey. As important, we look forward to the next 200 years of our journey. By examining the past, we ask how we can continue to serve our faith community and our local community. This year-long commemoration of where we came from will inform where we are going in God’s name.”

Most recently, First Presbyterian, through Rev. Thorne and parishioner Caroline Koster, has been instrumental in creating the Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge.

First Presbyterian initially occupied a building on Orange Street that was later sold to Plymouth Church. Its present sanctuary (photo), designed by William B. Olmstead, was completed in 1846, and the first service was held there in 1847.

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  • Andrew Porter

    The entryway, I understand, was designed by the same architect who did work on the main building of Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan.

  • Andrew Porter

    Here’s a Brooklyn Eagle postcard showing the church.To its right was the Sands Street Church, since demolished:

  • Del Griffith

    One of the early benefactors of First Presbyterian was Alfred G. Benson, a shipping merchant in the 1830s-50s who sponsored several significant immigrant ships from Brooklyn to the U.S. west coast. In 1841 he lived at 113 Henry Street. What would be the modern location of this address?

  • Andrew Porter

    All the buildings on the east side of Henry including that number were torn down in the early 1960s for the Cadman Towers buildings, including 101 Clark Street. But I think that specific building was long gone by the 1960s. The nearest remaining building is this, 115 Henry, seen here in this 1940 tax photo from the Municipal Archives:

  • Del Griffith

    wouldn’t the house number have changed in 1870? I want to find today’s physical location of his house – assuming that 113 Henry isn’ t located now where it was in the 1830s-40s. Is there a source in which to look up house number changes from pre- to post-1870?