Churches worth seeing, VI
St. Mark’s Church : Mt. Kisco, N.Y.
(Diocese of New York)
ST. MARK’S was designed by Bertram Grosvener Goodhue, architect most famously of St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York and the Cadet Chapel at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
The church is built in the style of many English stone churches of the thirteenth century. Goodhue wrote during his work on St. Mark’s: “At Mount Kisco, we have almost completed the best church that I have done so far- the various details have been so carefully carried out and the atmosphere is so much that of any English church of ‘the right period’ that it would give you a better idea of my dreams than anything else.”
The church’s cornerstone was laid in 1910. Although it was part of Mr. Goodhue’s original plans, the Peace Tower was not added until 1921, at which time it was erected as a memorial to those who served in World War I. The parish hall, baptismal chapel, and south aisle were built in 1929. In 1954 the parish hall was remodeled to provide classrooms for a growing church school. The most recent addition was the columbarium, which was added to the south of the church in 1961.
Above the main door is a statue of St. Mark sculpted by the noted artist Lee Lawrie, who also created the two stone corbels at the base of the chancel arch. Among the church’s exquisite stained glass windows are three designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, which are in the Resurrection Chapel. Two mosaic reredos and an altar mosaic from the Tiffany Studios are in the same chapel. A 16th-century terra cotta by the Italian artist Jacopo Sansovino, which is in the baptismal chapel, was purchased from the William Randolph Hearst estate and donated as a memorial by a parishioner. The Peace Tower houses four English carillon bells, one dating form 1905. The other three, given in 1930, are rung on Sundays, holy days, and other days of celebration. These and the wonderful wood carvings in the church have inspired and delighted visitors from around the world.
On October 24, 1984, the church was presented an award for architectural excellence by the American Institute of Architects.1
1. Adapted from the website of St. Mark’s Church.