St. Peter’s Episcopal Church was founded in 1693.
I saw a gravestone from 1766.
This is the third church on this site, designed in the High Victorian Gothic Revival style in 1853. The church and parish house were completed by 1855.
The whole complex was designated by New York City Landmarks in 1976 and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1983.
It’s a beautiful, green leafy place if you don’t look too hard.
But it also needs important work.
And something was wrong in the cemetery. The head stones looked vandalized to me.
So I called the 45th Precinct with jurisdiction.
“Yes, the cemetery is regularly vandalized.” Officer Hernandez told me. “Mostly kids getting drunk who want to break something.”
They push over the newer, heavier headstones.
They break off the older, historic ones.
They’ve torn down obelisks and monuments, too.
They’ve even dug up and overturned stones set into the earth to define burial plots.
I was so disheartened when I saw this.
Thirty years ago I might have thought to myself, “We should round up these little bastards and fry their destructive asses.”
But today my thoughts went more to “This is a lack of education, our education system clearly is not working.”
“It’s so obvious we are just not getting through.”