The Little Church Around the Corner

Officially known as the Church of the Transfiguration since its founding in 1848, the lilliputian Episcopal parish at 29th Street off Fifth Avenue got its nickname because it welcomed actors during a time when acting was considered a disreputable profession.

In 1870, when another church nearby at 28th and Madison refused to host an actor’s funeral, the Church of the Transfiguration stepped in. “God bless that little church ’round the corner,” a friend of the dead actor supposedly said. And the name stuck.


The Little Church also hosted the 1893 funeral of actor (and brother of a presidential assassin) Edwin Booth. It was and still is a popular places to get married in the city.

Set back from the street (which, needless to say, no longer looks as pristine as it does in the 1910 postcard above) with pretty gardens and an ornate entryway, it’s a captivating spot to break away from the rush of city life.

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28 Responses to “The Little Church Around the Corner”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    If you miss the church a plaque on the corner will direct you back to it…but who reads plaques anymore? You have to know the church is there in the first place…

  2. bookishpenguin Says:

    I was just there two weeks ago when a friend and I stumbled upon it. It’s a beautiful little place.

  3. Joe R Says:

    You mean 1870, not 1970, right?

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    Yikes, thanks for pointing that out! I’ll fix. 1870 of course.

  5. Bonnie Says:

    Wow, it was so beautiful then. I walk past it everyday. They sold the air rights and now there is this gigantic apartment building looming over it to the east. Very easy to miss it.

  6. oscar Says:

    i’m not a “believer” but this is my favorite church in the city

  7. NYCDreamin Says:

    I just saw this exact postcard at a flea market in Medina, MN last weekend…

  8. Joyce Striebel Says:

    To those of you who have visited The Little Church Around the Corner – can you tell me if church marriage records are available to the public. My parents were married there, I believe sometime in 1927. My daughters will be visiting NY soon and would like to see the church and hopefully some record of their grandparents wedding. Does anyone know if this is possible?

  9. Bob Malone Says:

    Did you ever receive a response about marriage records being available to the public and if so how may they be obtained,I am looking for info about my Grandparent wedding

    Thank you

  10. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Call the church and ask them…

  11. JoanT Says:

    Marriage records are available ( for a fee) if you can provide the date of the marriage along with the names of the parties.

    • Janice T. Filla - 770-991-0792 Says:

      have inquired and also sent 2nd and 3rd requests re: marriage records. I too am trying to obtain my parents marriage records. What steps and address have you inquired. Janice Says

  12. Ann Dodge Says:

    I am looking for the following marriage record:

    June 24, 1922
    Albert Burnley Weaver m. Emma augusta Lincoln

    How do I make my request and payment?

  13. Ann Dodge Says:

    I am not sure what I am supposed to do now…

  14. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    You can try this: MAKING ARRANGEMENTS

    The first step to planning a wedding at Transfiguration is to phone the office (212-684-6770) and speak with the Rector of the church, Bishop Andrew St. John. He can answer your inquiries about the liturgy, guest clergy, scheduling, fees, obtaining a marriage license, music, flowers and other questions about the service. We look forward to hearing from you!

    This from:

    Unless someone got another way…

  15. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I didn’t notice this before,

    We hear from those couples to this day as part of our Little Family community, an annual mailing that goes out to all those married here on their anniversaries.

    That should ease your concern

  16. RosemaryM Says:

    I love all these comments about “The Little Church Around the Corner”. We are currently trying to raise money to restore the beautiful lychgate (the entrance to the garden) which was given by Mrs. Franklin Delano in 1849. If you could encourage friends to make donations – that would be fabulous. They should be sent to the Church of the Transfiguration Parish Office – 1 East 29th Street, NY, NY, 10016. For those who walk by, there are descriptive brochures by the gate!

  17. June M Jones Says:

    marriage record: abt 1937 . Howard Richards Meneely & Violet Pearl Jones

  18. Harriette Boyce Says:

    Lieutenant Commander Kenneth Fletcher and WRNS Georgina Hall 8th April 1944, How do we pay the fee to see the register of this marriage?

  19. Chris Klueter Says:

    I have a beautiful hand drawn picture (I believe it is in pencil) signed and dated 1939. I got the picture from an adopted friend of mine. A wealthy family-my friends father was a colonel in WW II. I was wondering if anyone has any information or knows if there are any famous artist who did pictures of “The Little Church Around the Corner”?

  20. Susan Maddox Says:

    We are going to N.Y. in Sept. and looking forward to find the Little Church Around the Corner. Can we take a tour any day or just certain days?

    • Joan Seymour/ Parishioner of LittleChurch Says:

      There are tours every Sunday after the service so at about 12.45 pm. Every day the church is open but you can only go into the Bride’s Chapel, the rest is closed.

  21. Fran Patten Says:

    My mom and dad were married her in 1919 and I’m wondering how I can get a record of that marriage. Florence Avery and Joseph Patten. My name: Fran Patten Thanks so much.

  22. june meneely jones Says:

    My father, Howard R. Meneely married my step mother, Violet P, Jones , Sept. 4 , 1937 . I would love a record of their marriage. june m. jones, Thank you so much.

  23. Joan Taylor Says:

    My mother-in-law recently passed away at the age of 103. In reading a meticulously kept date book for 1937, she made numerous entries referring to play rehearsals, costume fittings and makeup classes at the Little Church. She lived on the East Side in the Eighties with her parents and would have been about 24 y o at that time. Wish we knew about this facet of her life but have gleaned from Little Church notations and others that she a culturally rich life even as a 24 year old. Are there any references to a theatre group housed there in the 1930’s?

  24. Michael Anne Wright Says:

    My grandparents were married in this church in September of 1919. I would love to know if you could tell me more about their wedding. Who officiated, time of day, anything. They both passed before I was able to know them.

    In gratitude,
    Michael Anne Wright
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Loyal grand daughter

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