Renowned architect Frederick R. Comstock designed the church’s beautiful building in the French Renaissance style in the late 19th century. The edifice is faced with white Dover marble and topped with a copper dome that rises to a height of 110 feet. The exterior base is faced with white granite from Concord, New Hampshire. The cornerstone was laid on Easter Sunday, April 2, 1899, and the building was completed and occupied two years later in 1901. Early photos hang in the 68th Street foyer.
The building was originally constructed for Second Church of Christ, Scientist, NYC. Second Church had been incorporated in 1891, but had no permanent home until 1898, when the lot at Central Park West and West 68th Street was purchased. More than 100 years later, in 2004, the membership of Second Church consolidated with the membership of First Church of Christ, Scientist, NYC. First Church had been incorporated in 1888, and was previously housed on the corner of 96th Street and Central Park West. Members of both churches voted to call their new organization First Church. They soon began extensive renovations on the building, which were completed in 2008.
photos by Elliott Kaufman Photography