ST. AGNES CHURCH, Grand Central

As recent FNY readers know, I went to work temporarily recently in the same building where I began my career in typesetting and the printed word over thirty years ago on East 45th Street. I was working overnight from 12 to 8 AM and I have to say, I just couldn’t get used to daytime sleeping for those six weeks. If called upon to do it again I would, but it’s just not my preference. I reverted to overnight sleeping on the weekends and slept like a rock and after the gig was done, I went to bed  at 11-12 PM and was well rested but poor again.

I’m a nostalgist and always find something to miss from long-gone jobs, friends, women. When I worked at Photo-Lettering from 1982 to 1988 it was “second-shift” so I would arrive in midtown during the evening rush, as I began work from 5 to 7 PM. Making my way over to 216 East 45th I would take East 43rd sometimes and would thus pass St. Agnes Church. I noticed the church again on my way home one early morning recently.

However this St. Agnes is not the same building I passed all those years ago; the old building from the 1870s, constructed for workers on the original Grand Central Station, burned down in 1992, and what we have now is a somewhat anodyne building constructed in 1998, although it’s flanked by two of the old church’s remaining towers. I was surprised to learn that the painting behind the altar was done by Sean Delonas, the occasionally controversial editorial cartoonist for the NY Post from 1990-2013.


Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) was based at St. Agnes and his riveting radio and later television sermons from the 1930s through the 1960s (“The Catholic Hour” and “Life Is Worth Living”) were recorded in a studio at the old church, as well as the Adelphi Theater further uptown. 

Mayor Edward Koch subnamed East 43rd for Bishop Sheen between Lexington and 3rd Avenues in 1982.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


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2 Responses to ST. AGNES CHURCH, Grand Central

  1. Julia Mallen says:

    being a true New Yorker myself and having my whole life completely changed after being recruited for special ops after 9/11 I’ve never been more determined to see our nation rise up stronger and better by remembering who built their cities who lost their lives defending our freedom and the importance of teaching our children that God and family Means Everything! LinkedIn jmallen711@gmail. Com my direct email

  2. George Cassidy says:

    Worked on East 42nd in the 1970s and 1980s and was a frequent visitor to St. Agnes. I didn’t know about the fire, sorry to hear, but glad they rebuilt.

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