Back in the early to mid-19th Century, Hudson Street was essentially a country road. The only house on Street itself from Canal heading north to the Church’s current location was Brant House on Spring Street, known as Tyler Tavern. Sir Peter Warren owned a large estate of around 60 acres on Charles Street whilst several notable residents maintained country homes in the areas around 11th (then known as Hammond) Street, Leroy, Jane and Washington Streets as the Yellow Fever plague raged in the City proper. Many of these aristocratic refugees opted to make the healthful environs of the Village their permanent home. The Amos Farmhouse occupied land at Christopher and Greenwich whilst merchants and farmers collected around the Prison to sell their wares, eventually settling nearby with their families. Directly behind the church, the fields ran straight down to the river as evidenced by the sailing boats and masts clearly visible in the renderings.
Designed by architect John Heath to reflect the Federal style of a country parish with its commanding square bell tower crowned by a wooden parapet, the church was built by Mr. Richard Kidney and completed at a cost of $7,500.
The only means of travel to and from the City was a stage coach which operated twice a day and often erratically. As a consequence, on Monday June 4, 1821 when the cornerstone was laid by Bishop John Henry Hobart at 10.am, the City People who came to witness the event had to arrive in their sailboats on the river or drive through the woods over the hills of Broadway in private coaches. Aptly named for St. Luke, the “Beloved Physician,” the first church in the Village was consecrated a year later.