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Posted 19 Nov 2001   For week ended November 16, 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 16Nov01

By Kent Larsen

New York City Stake Center Rededicated

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- One of the most prominent and unique chapels in use by congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was rededicated Saturday, completing years of renovations that have more than doubled the building's capacity to house wards and branches. During its 26-year life, the New York Stake Center, located at Lincoln Square across the street from the world-famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, has gone from hosting three congregations covering more than just Manhattan to eight congregations covering less than 80% of the island.

To commemorate the building's rededication, stake members prepared a 10-minute video detailing the history of the buildings used by the LDS Church in Manhattan. The video also alluded to the unique features of the building, which has just a small entry way on the ground floor. Church members then take an elevator to one of two chapels on the third and fifth floors in the building. The video ended saying, "Welcome, to the church that takes you up."

The Church decided to build the stake center in the late 1960s and Apostle Harold B. Lee, then First Counselor in the LDS Church's First Presidency, visited the current site in October 1970, telling those with him as he looked at the site, "this is the place the Lord wants us to be." To build the building, the Church sold its New York, New York mission home, located in a Fifth Avenue Mansion across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (The old mission home is now part of the French consulate).

The stake center eventually dedicated May 25, 1975 included a six-story building occupying most of the plot coupled with a 30-story apartment tower, which was leased to a real estate company. Under the agreement, several apartments are available to the Church for the use of missionaries and Church employees residing in New York City. It also originally included the offices of the New York New York Mission and an LDS visitor's center in the first three floors above the street level in the main building. The street level included an atrium, an entrance to the building and retail shops, while the top two floors of the main building housed a health club.

Over the building's life its use and the needs of the Church have changed. The stake has grown (and the geographic area it covers has shrunk) and an increasing number of wards, branches and Church offices have used the building. Where the Mission office used to be, the Church now has a Public Affairs Office, a Church Educational System office and an LDS Employment center. The Visitors Center was closed and its place taken by one of the largest LDS Family History Center's outside of Utah, and one of only a handful staffed by full-time LDS missionaries.


New York New York Stake Center Rededication
Kent Larsen

See also:

Various Times and Sundry Places: Buildings Used by the LDS Church in Manhattan
New York LDS Historian Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 2000
By Ned Thomas

First Manhattan Chapel in 25 Years
New York LDS Historian Insert #1 Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 2000
By Anne Knight

Evolution of the First Manhattan Stake Center
New York LDS Historian Insert #2 Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 2000
By Ned Thomas


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