Built in 1795, a restoration program was virtually complete in July 1978 when the building and steeple were totally gutted by fire. Almost nothing remained except the stone walls and the stained glass windows in the lower floor.
Except for mechanical and electrical trades and the slate roof, most of the rebuilding was done as a part of a training program for local youth. They built doors and windows and their trim, carved the columns and capitals, installed the millwork and flooring and did the plastering, painting and cabinetwork. Their instructors were a master carpenter and a master plasterer provided by the general contractor. Construction took approximately five years.
St. Mark’s is at least as much a performance space as it is a church. Dance, theater, and poetry readings are a regular occurrence and the interior was designed to accommodate them. The Architects designed not only the rebuilding, but the new ecclesiastical furniture and fittings. Twelve new stained glass windows and the upper level were designed by Harold Edelman to replace those lost in the fire.
In the 1980s, the project won the Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Certificate of Merit from the Municipal Art Society, and the Award of Merit for Excellence in Civic Architecture and Urban Design from the City Club of New York Bard Awards.