We continue the Landmarks50 celebration by taking a look at another individual landmark in our neighborhood. The First Ukrainian Assembly of God (originally, the Metropolitan Savings Bank) at 9 East 7th Street, was completed in 1867 by architect Carl Pfeiffer, and designated on November 19, 1969. The French Second Empire building stands at a corner plot, so its two impressive facades can be viewed at the same time. It is one of the first fireproof commercial buildings in New York City, expressing sturdy indestructibility, and unique architectural characteristics.
A horizontal band course at each floor and an ornate cornice at the roofline unify the building’s two front-facing facades. Another notable quality is the center window at the second floor on Third Avenue. Resting on pedestals, two engaged columns with Corinthian capitals support a pediment entablature. In the mansard roof are a series of dormer windows crowned with segmental arches. Prior to 1937, when the Ukrainian Church purchased it, the structure at 9 East 7th Street was occupied by the Metropolitan Savings Bank for 68 years.
A report of the Superintendent of Buildings made in 1868 to the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of New York was quoted as describing the building as follows:
“In the construction of this building no combustible materials have been used, either externally or internally, where masonry or ironwork could be made available, rendering the same fireproof. Were buildings constructed after the manner of the Metropolitan Savings Bank, the frequency of conflagrations, and the immense destruction of merchandise by fire and water, which have from time to time visited upon our city, would be materially lessened, if not altogether prevented. It is one of the handsomest and most thoroughly constructed buildings in the city, and is a perfect model in its precaution against fire.”
View photos and video from our July 29, 2015 program, First Ukrainian Assembly of God: Community Center for the East Village A history and tour with Reverend Pete Armstrong, part of the series “OMG!: Churches and Synagogues of Greenwich Village.”
Read other blog posts about Landmarks50 here
Explore designation reports, photos and maps of Village landmarks here