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Posted 26 Mar 2001   For week ended March 02, 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 28Feb01

By Kent Larsen

New York Books See Mormons in the City

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- The Mormon presence in New York City is prominent in two new books on religion in the city. The most significant of the two is a chapter in the academically-oriented book "New York Glory: Religions in the City" part of the Religion, Race and Ethnicity Series from New York University Press. The second book, "Glory in Gotham" is a neighborhood guide to the architecture of more than 100 churches in New York City, including the LDS Church's recently constructed chapel in Manhattan's Inwood neighborhood.

The chapter in "New York Glory" was written by local LDS author James Lucas, who wrote "Working Toward Zion" with BYU professor Warner Woodruff. Lucas covers the state of the LDS Church in New York City, discovering that the Church here has about 20,000 members spread over six stakes and districts,including some 50 wards and branches.

Lucas says that the majority of church members in the city are Hispanic, most of whom speak Spanish. Other foreign-language congregations exist for Chinese and Korean speakers, as well as for American Sign Language. Lucas also indicates that the Mormon population of the city is growing, more than doubling in size from its two stakes in 1985.

But Lucas' chapter goes beyond demographics, also discussing how and where LDS Church members in New York City worship and giving some background information on the Church here. The chapter also discusses the challenges that the diverse population presents to local leaders.

The mention of the Inwood building in "Glory in Gotham," written by New York Times architectural reporter David Dunlap, is typical for this architectural guide, brief and descriptive of where the building is located and what it looks like. But it is also a testament to the LDS Church's permanence in the city. The Inwood building, dedicated just one year ago, has pleased observers and local members both because it looks like a church and because it matches the neighborhood so well.

The other LDS Church-owned building in New York City, located at Lincoln Square across from the world-famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, got a much smaller mention in "Glory in Gotham," merely a footnote. That brevity may be due to the office building-like appearance of the meetinghouse and its adjacent apartment tower. Still, even this building is somewhat unique in space-starved New York. It now includes two chapels and accompanying classrooms, and currently houses eight wards and branches.

Unfortunately, "Glory in Gotham" mostly lists buildings on Manhattan, so it misses at least two notable LDS buildings in the city. The first LDS Church-owned building in the city, dating to 1918, is located in Brooklyn, where it once housed what was then the Brooklyn branch and its adjacent house served as the Eastern States Mission home. That chapel and home were sold by the LDS Church in the 1960s. The second building is the former Bullova Watchmaking School, purchased recently by the LDS Church.

See also:
Glory in Gotham
More about Dvid Dunlap and Joe Vecchione's "Glory in Gotham" at

New York Glory
More about "New York Glory: Religions in the City" at

Working Toward Zion
More about "Working Toward Zion: Principles of the United Order for the Modern World" by James W. Lucas, Warner P. Woodworth at


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