Built in 1849, this Protestant Congregational church was a center of abolitionist sentiment, thanks to the stirring oratory of Brooklyn's most eminent theologian and the church's first minister, Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin). Because it provided refuge to slaves, the church was known to some as the Grand Central Depot of the Underground Railroad. Though the architecture of this brick building may seem simple,
its open, theater-like interior inspired subsequent American Protestant churches. Three Louis C. Tiffany stained-glass windows were added in the 1930s. In the gated garden beside the church a statue of Beecher by Gutzon Borglum (who later chiseled Mount Rushmore) depicts one of the slave "auctions"—publicity stunts wherein church members purchased the slaves' freedom. A fragment of Plymouth Rock is in an adjoining arcade.