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Riverside Church

Photo credit: jbylund / Foter / CC BY-SA
Riverside Church
  • (worth a detour)
  • Moderate
  • NA
  • 1 hour or less
  • 2 2

Come to Harlem and see a gorgeous church to rival the grandest cathedrals in the city

490 Riverside Drive, New York, NY
Tours are free on Sundays after service, otherwise there is a charge and tours must be arranged by calling ahead

NYC is famous for its cathedrals, from St Patrick’s to the Cathedral of St John the Divine, and they are stunning to behold. One of these beautiful, but often overlooked houses of worship is Riverside Church. Riverside is a historical marvel, originally built in 1928 and stage to some of the greatest speakers in the nation’s history. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous anti-Vietnam sermon here and Nelson Mandela addressed the country from their pulpit as well. Three pieces of artwork inside were donated by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and several of the stained glass windows are actually from a 16th century Flemish church believed to have been destroyed or threatened with destruction during the French revolution. In addition, Riverside Church was one of the first churches to perform same sex unions and continues to be on the forefront of equality and social justice issues.

Between the gorgeous architecture, historical importance, and continued work towards equality for all Riverside Church should be a must-see for anyone visiting New York. Make a day of it by adding a trip to visit the Apollo and the Studio Museum in Harlem!

Opening hours


How to get there

M104, M4 or M5 to 120th St.