Brooklyn is rich with houses of worship with sumptuous, soaring interiors and inspiring stained glass — but they aren’t always accessible to the public. If you have ever wanted to get a glimpse of the art and architectural splendor tucked behind the front doors of a church or synagogue, your opportunity is coming up this month.
The New York Landmark Conservancy’s seventh annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend is an event that allows the public to view the artistic treasures and architecture of New York City’s houses of worship. This year, over 60 sites citywide and 150 statewide will participate in the program over the weekend of May 20 and 21.
This year’s theme is “Stained Glass: Windows on this World and the Next.” Highlights will include work by American glass masters John LaFarge, Henry Sharp, Louis Comfort Tiffany and other prominent artists. In Brooklyn, the dazzling examples include the many stained glass styles at Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights (including three Tiffany windows), the early 20th century German windows at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Gowanus and the recently restored dome of the East Midwood Jewish Center.
“Don’t miss the wonderful opportunity the Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Open House presents to explore the art, architecture and history these religious institutions offer,” says Peg Breen, President of The New York Landmarks Conservancy. “It’s exciting to discover the riches in your own community.”
This year, 15 Brooklyn houses of worship are participating in the weekend and one cemetery — Green-Wood Cemetery, where both John LaFarge and Louis Comfort Tiffany are buried. In addition to the open house hours there will be special activities at some of the sites. The Union Church of Bay Ridge will host a choir performance and the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn Heights will have an organ demonstration.
The event takes place the weekend of May 20 and 21 and the open house hours vary with each location. You can check out the full list of Brooklyn sites, including detailed info on hours and special programs, here.
- The Hypnotic Swirl of Anish Kapoor’s ‘Descension’ at Brooklyn Bridge Park (Video)
- A Convo With Artist Stephen Powers on Street Art, Brooklyn and His ‘Love Letter’ to Downtown
- City Calls for Climate Change-Related Art Project in Red Hook